Downtown drivers, start your engines. Your new pavement is almost ready.
Crews will finish paving Second Avenue between Washington and Ellsworth streets sometime Tuesday, wrapping up the final stretch of the Downtown CARA (Central Albany Revitalization Area) streetscape project.
The road is expected to be open for traffic sometime after 8 p.m., said Lindsey Austin, engineering technician with Public Works. Another half-day's work is scheduled for Friday, so striping can be finished, and "That's pretty much it," Austin said.
"I’m excited. I know the public’s excited. I am just as excited as them to have it done," she added. "I think it looks beautiful down there. It’s inviting and easy to get around and safe-feeling, to me, when I walk down there.”
The downtown streetscape improvement project began a little more than a year ago with Phase I: new sidewalks, tree removal and replacement, asphalt paving along the streets surrounding the Albany Post Office, and the creation of 47 back-in angled parking spaces adjacent to the post office.
The second and final phase involved new sidewalks, curb ramps, water lines, trees and lighting on Lyon and Ellsworth streets; new street lighting, street trees, street furniture, sidewalks, asphalt pavement and water lines on Second and Third avenues; new water lines and full street reconstruction on Calapooia Street between Fifth and Sixth avenues and on two sections of Broadalbin; and new sidewalk, curb ramps and street trees on Ferry Street between Third and Fourth avenues.
The final project cost as of May 18 was about $1.036 million for Phase I and $9.576 million for Phase II.
Of that, $8.435 million is coming from the Central Albany Revitalization Area. City officials have said it's CARA's biggest investment in public infrastructure to date and has been planned since the district was formed in 2001.
Water System Capital Projects funds paid about $1.447 million for the water line improvements and the Oregon Department of Transportation paid $600,000 for improvements for curb cutouts for disabled accessibility. Water Reserves of $555,685 are required to cover the overage.
Some of the ADA repairs aren't quite finished, Austin said. Contractors will be reinstalling some of the corner cutouts to make the slopes conform with ADA standards. That's not being done at the city's expense, she added.
The city also has two more small pavement repairs: one at First Avenue and Broadalbin Street, where a sinkhole wrecked part of the road, and a pothole at Ninth Avenue and Ellsworth Street where school buses have aggravated pavement damage.
ODOT is responsible for paving on Lyon and Ellsworth and hasn't yet said when that will happen, Austin said. The city is anticipating that work to be done this fall.
Separate from the streetscape project, the city is putting in a warning sign and flasher on Lyon Street for the downtown fire station, along with a full traffic signal at Sixth Avenue and Ellsworth Street. Work is anticipated to start in July.
Those aren't really a part of the streetscape project but are a part of overall downtown improvements, said Staci Belcastro, city engineer.