EAST WENATCHEE — Planning is underway now to keep traffic moving while two of this city’s busiest intersections are overhauled early next month.
“The traffic impacts are going to be pretty heavy. We’re hoping people use alternative routes,” state Department of Transportation engineer Kevin Waligorski said Monday.
DOT contract crews will dig out the existing asphalt intersections at Grant Road and Sunset Highway and Grant Road and Valley Mall Parkway and replace them with more durable concrete. Both will have new sidewalks with ramps for wheelchair access, Waligorski said.
The section of Grant Road between the two intersections will also be repaved in concrete.
DOT to host open houses for bridgework
The state Department of Transportation will host open houses in Wenatchee and East Wenatchee later this month to review work done so far on the Sen. George Sellar Bridge and what’s to come.
Look for dates, times and places in The World as soon as they become available.
— Christine Pratt, World staff
Work is part of a three-phase, $60 million project to improve traffic flow over the Sen. George Sellar Bridge, North Central Washington’s most heavily traveled. Work at both ends of the bridge began in 2009. Already completed are a new pedestrian lane along the outer south side of the bridge, an extra traffic lane eastbound, the new Grant Road Bypass, and changes to traffic patterns on both sides of the bridge.
The first phase of the project began in 2009. All work should be finished this fall.
Grant Road intersection work will begin the night of May 5, after all Apple Blossom festivities have ended, Waligorski said, and be finished by Memorial Day, May 27.
All southbound traffic on Highway 28 will be detoured onto the new bypass route west of Fred Meyer.
The highway will remain open to northbound traffic, but vehicles will be directed to one side of the route or the other, depending on where work is taking place, Waligorski said.
The Grant Road intersection with Valley Mall Parkway will be closed over a long weekend, currently late Friday, May 17, to early Tuesday, May 21.
Motorists will have to use 3rd Street Northeast and Highline Drive to get around the intersection work, he said.
In June, after the concrete work is finished, crews will repave in asphalt the entire east-side bridge interchange, he said. Work will take place at night. The route will be open during the day with temporary striping or other lane markings.
Crews have already begun drainage work at the east end of the bridge and continued trail work, he said. They’re also beginning to widen 3rd Street Northeast to get ready for traffic detours from the intersection replacements.
Over the coming months, crews will continue work on two new pedestrian paths — one below and parallel to the new bypass and another that runs under the bypass and east to Fred Meyer.
Pedestrians are already using the parallel trail, he said, but it will have to close occasionally as work continues. The path under the bypass won’t open until the total project is finished this fall.
Crews are already removing a sidewalk at the bridge’s eastbound approach that will eventually eliminate the need for motorists to merge into a single lane at the bridge entrance.
The merge creates a major bottleneck during peak hours, but it will remain for at least the next several months, DOT project manager Josh Patrick said Monday.
That’s because crews working nearby on a new off ramp onto Crescent Street for westbound traffic will need the old sidewalk area to shift traffic around their workspace.
A pedestrian ramp from South Wenatchee Avenue near Platt Electric up onto the bridge is now finished and open, Patrick said.
Crews will pour concrete later this week for the deck of a new pedestrian bridge over South Wenatchee Avenue. The new path hugs, but is separate from, the existing vehicle overpass.
A round of paving will happen at night, the week of April 22, he said. New asphalt is planned for:
- Mission Street from Stevens to Marr streets.
- All of Marr between Mission and Wenatchee Avenue.
- Wenatchee Avenue from Marr north to the Sen. George Sellar Bridge.
- New westbound ramp from the bridge onto Crescent Street.
A final round of paving, in the area just north of the bridge, will happen in late August, he said.
Christine Pratt: 665-1173