Hwy Project Update Nov. 2

Happy Halloween! As I type, chaos is unfolding in front of the Chamber office in the form of Downtown Trick-or-Treating. The construction crews have definitely taken this event in to consideration, and heavy equipment and active work has been moved to accommodate the crowds. Police Chief Terry Wright has mustered his flagging squad to assist families back and forth across the streets, as safety in the midst of this project is a top priority.

A quick update on the overview of the project:

The manhole work that took place late last week in the middle of the intersection of First and Main was smooth and successful, which minimized the length of time the intersection had to be flagged. The dry weather has meant excavation work has been able to move along quickly, and the vault work on Main and the sidewalk and expanded landing in front the Pioneer Museum on the corner of First and Pacific have been progressing nicely. The rest of this week will include the final removal of old materials from the vaults in front of Sunflower Flats, Everything Pets and Tangled Yarns, as well as the placement of the last layers of fill and the waterproof membrane that will be installed below the sidewalk. That work will set the stage for a big next step: the beginning of demolition of the stretch of Main in front of Diamond Art Jewelers down to the corner of Fourth and Main near Wells Fargo. The block will be torn up in two sections, with that southern section coming out first. All involved are optimistic that the stretch there will go quickly, as there are no underground vaults to address. That corner will feature a bioswale, as will the corner in front of Sunflower Flats. The plan is to begin the layout of both bioswales in the next few weeks in tandem with each other.

Be prepared that this upcoming work will mean traffic down to one lane at times and the closure of parking on the east side of Main all the way from Second (where we have seen it closed to Third) down to Fourth (where we have previously enjoyed parking in front of So Chic Boutique and Diamond Art). It does not look like there will be much need for flagging in the upcoming weeks, but with all of these changes and some of the big equipment required to do this work, please continue to be extra cautious and allow plenty of time to move through downtown.

Also, brush your teeth. I mean, enjoy the festivities…