By Justin Aufdermauer
It’s amazing the difference one month can make on the downtown construction project. The north end of the sidewalk between Third and Fourth streets is being poured this week, and the south side is scheduled to be poured next week. Wells Fargo’s driveway has even been poured!
I know that for many, last fall felt slow and draining, but from here on out progress should be more visible in nearly every aspect of the highway interchange redesign.
Since the beginning of January we’ve seen significant grading, forming and pouring of our curbs, sidewalks and ADA ramps, and I think everyone agrees it will be nice to have those back in action. The pedestrian access points have been a huge help throughout all of this, but there is something exciting about seeing sidewalks again. Thank you to everyone who has braved the demolition and continued to patronize our businesses.
We also saw the annual pothole cluster near the corner of First and Pacific, which was first filled with cold patch, then covered with the steel plate – both unsuccessful. Kudos are in order to ODOT and the contractor, OSBC, for stepping up and digging out the faulty base and asphalt and doing a thorough repair – even though they will be digging this up again soon. Additional roadway markings were also secured throughout the project area to keep traffic patterns distinct and improving travel lanes – especially at night.
Speaking of potholes, we have brought the need for the seams of the Hoquorton Bridge to be patched and have received favorable feedback from ODOT that this will be handled as soon as they have hot asphalt available.
Second Street is also making headway, although from the surface it might be hard to tell. Bases for light posts have been added, structural supports are being poured, and storm drain lines have been laid in. Next comes the electrical conduits, which will be trenched in over the next few weeks. That will also for the pouring of the tactical paver strips. That all might sound kind of tedious and boring to some, but these paver strips will be the first visible elements of the Second Street Plaza between Main and Pacific. This plaza, which will be the backdrop for many town festivals, will begin to take shape over the next few months. (Remember: This plaza is not being closed to traffic, but instead will be a one-way to match to the rest of Second Street).
Just think, by the end of the highway redesign in 2018, Blue Moon Café, The Phoenix Exchange, and the newly relocated Pacific Restaurant will all have a front-row seat to a wonderful new addition of our downtown. While the end result is exciting, let’s not forget that many of our core businesses in the downtown area are still severely impacted by the construction. They need our loyalty now more than ever. As we mentioned last week, we are planning several “cash mobs” this month to support The Phoenix Exchange; Madeline’s Vintage Marketplace; Blue Moon Café; and The Rendezvous. For more information, visit www.tillamookchamber.org.
Also, don’t forget to swing by our new office at 208 Main Avenue to lend your voice to the Wayfinding Sign discussion. We are seeking input on design, placement, and the types of things the signs should point to. It’s been a robust conversation thus far with many of you, and it is our hope that we can continue to get feedback that will propel the discussion further forward, and develop a complete signage plan that will coincide with the end of the highway project in 2018. If you would like to weigh in on wayfinding via email you can do so by emailing Sierra at firstname.lastname@example.org
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 call Jeannell at (503) 812-8906 or email her at email@example.com.