City plans a busy month of paving

Cool, wet summer in Vancouver saw many projects delayed

By Eric Florip, Columbian transportation & environment reporter

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A normal September would see summer paving work winding down on the streets of Vancouver.

Not this year.

A lengthy project list in 2011, set back by cool, wet and often unpredictable weather during much of June and July, is now kicking into high gear with warm summer weather finally here. That will mean one of the busiest months of road paving Vancouver has ever seen, said Loretta Callahan, a city public works spokeswoman. Much of that work will begin in earnest later this week, and could continue into early October.

This year’s slate includes repaving projects covering 4.3 miles of major arterials:

• Northeast Stapleton Road, from Northeast Fourth Plain Boulevard to Northeast 34th Street.

• Northeast St. James Road, from Northeast Cherry Road to Northeast Minnehaha Street.

• West 39th Street, from Lavina Street to Grant Street.

• Columbia Street, from West Eighth Street to West 15th Street.

• Southeast Bella Vista Avenue, from Southeast Cascade Park Drive to Southeast McGillivray Boulevard.

• East Mill Plain Boulevard, from Northeast 97th Avenue to I-205 overpass.

• Northeast 97th Avenue, from East Mill Plain to Northeast Second Street.

Callahan noted that any repaving project happens in three basic stages: surface preparations, grinding/paving, then striping and any other finishing touches. If motorists find a street torn up in the next month, they should know it won’t stay that way for long, Callahan said.

Crews will start paving Stapleton and St. James roads as soon as next week, according to the city. The entire list of arterials could be resurfaced by the middle of October, weather permitting.

All of that work is part of the city’s $5.75 million Pavement Management Program, which also includes more minor chip seal and microsurfacing projects. Much of that work was completed earlier in the summer. Improvements to water and sewer systems are ongoing in the Fircrest neighborhood, and the city’s Eastside Water Line Project will mean repaving the south lane of McGillivray between Southeast 136th and 164th avenues.

Drivers should expect lane closures, possible delays and detours in work areas during the coming weeks. Construction hours are generally 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday, according to the city.

Paving work may, however, be postponed or rescheduled if the rain returns.

Eric Florip: 360-735-4541 or eric.florip@columbian.com.