You may have noticed flagging near Rosenbergs this week as Just Bucket Excavating zips large trucks, heavy equipment, and lots of rock around the area just north of the bridge. Work is heavily concentrated there as the road grading and drainage work continues in preparation for the opening of the new bridge and the return to multi-lane traffic in both directions (scheduled for June). The flagging should not be causing much of an impediment, as traffic is only paused to allow safe movement in and out of the staging area and work zone.
If anything, you may notice that traffic in general is moving significantly more quickly through the area north of First, as Front Street has been opened to one lane headed westbound. This means that any traffic coming over the bridge with the intent to head west can turn off on Front and avoid the light at First Street. There are still some final touches on Front Street to take place (including a top lift of asphalt and striping), as well as a streetscape project that the City of Tillamook will be starting shortly. The speed limit on Front Street is only 20, so if you are taking that route please resist the temptation to make the most of the wide open road there.
While the road bed itself is the focus of the work, you may also notice some continued concrete detail work on the bridge. There is a pour scheduled for Friday that will cure over the long weekend, and then it’s just clean up work and getting ready for the asphalt when that is available. The contentious orange railing is being manufactured, and will likely be delivered and installed after the bridge is open, in late June.
Here I will share with you my vocabulary lesson for the week: Gore Point. The gore point is the triangular tip that sits between two lanes of traffic. This can occur between two-way traffic, as we see in the area that that is being formed up and poured at the north end of the old Shell Station property, or between two merging lanes of traffic (like when you are entering a highway from an on-ramp). There is some urban legend history around the term “Gore” being the last name of a highway patrolman who was killed in one of these marked triangular divides, but the term “gore” actually has a much longer history as a word used to describe a triangular piece of land. The gore point I wanted to update you on this week is that triangular stretch there that is the new northern tip of the old Shell property, where the curb and gutter work is underway this week. In addition to that street-shaping work, there will also be electrical work taking place, as two lampposts are set to be installed there mid-week.
Downtown continues to see bursts of progress. The demolition of the block between Third and Second now stretches from the corner of Third St. up to the Dutch Mill. The vault in front of the Dutch Mill is open, and the property owner is taking advantage of the access to work on a few plumbing upgrades. Access to the Tillamook Area Chamber of Commerce is now only viable from the rear parking lot entrance. If you have any questions about parking or access for the Chamber, feel free to call the office at (503) 842-7525.
Next week, it looks like the sidewalk team will return to downtown, and we should start to see the formation of the bioswale on the corner of Main and Third.
A quick reminder that this is a holiday weekend, and the weather appears to be encouraging for folks looking to venture out to the coast. Be prepared to implement your best stress-reducing strategies and use caution.