By Justin Aufdermauer
Does anyone else feel a little like they are in Seattle or Portland? Our skyline is crowded with cranes lately, moving meticulously around traffic as they set the cumbersome bridge supports. Soon they will be hoisting the bridge bearings up one by one and maneuvering the hefty pieces into place. Next on the list is placing the mammoth girders that will span the Hoquarton.
A little north of Hoqurton, large storm drains and beehives are being installed, and on Second Street the tree wells are finally ready to be formed. Once the storm drainage work is complete, the new pedestrian plaza will be ready for its makeover – in other words they will be pouring the colored and multi-patterned concrete. That should be exciting to see and for many of us it will help to visualize the final picture that we’ve been waiting so long for.
Remember that this month the construction zone might feel like it has expanded a bit as the foundations and electrical trenching begin along the new bicycle/pedestrian trail near Goodspeed Park. We will also see the formation of the interior bays and overhang for the pedestrian walkway over the Port of Tillamook Bay’s Hwy 6 railroad bridge.
For those wondering, this bicycle and pedestrian path will eventually lead back to the Hoquarton Landing park near the Hwy 101 bridge. Then it will cross the highway via a traffic island to join Sue H. Elmore Park, which will be renovated later this summer. The City of Tillamook has plans to continue a boardwalk path westward through Front Street towards the walking circuit around Tillamook Regional Medical Center.
Speaking of walking, the new sidewalk pattern that was tested next to Homelife Furniture has been approved and the rest of the sidewalks are scheduled for pouring. This piece of the project is a tad behind schedule after 90 feet of newly-poured sidewalk had to be torn up when it was discovered it didn’t have the correct scoring pattern on it. This pattern will set the tone for the rest of downtown, where more than 2,000 feet of new sidewalks will be added from First Street to Fourth Street and from Main to Pacific.
There is a lot of questions coming in about if the bridge and sidewalks are going to be done by Summer. Due to some recent revisions to the bridge construction we have received word that ODOT is still committed to opening all lanes of traffic by this summer. The sidewalk schedule is currently being revised and all parties are coming to the table to identify the best timeline revisions to make sure that this stays on track for completion by Memorial Day.
You can stay up-to-date on the highway project be visiting tillamookchamber.org and subscribing to our weekly bulletin. If you have any questions regarding the highway project email Jeannell at firstname.lastname@example.org.