By Sierra Lauder, Director of Events and Downtown Development, Tillamook Area Chamber of Commerce
The cold but dry weather has been very helpful for all of the excavation work that has been happening throughout the project this past week. In front of the Pioneer Museum, grading and leveling the base layer in anticipation of the future radial concrete has been progressing steadily. Next week we may see the formation of curbs and gutters in that area, (all things dependent on weather, of course) which will be an exciting visual.
Along Main, the sidewalk demolition in front of Sunflower Flats has been completed, and the end of this week will see the final installation of the liner and aggregate that will sit below the sidewalk. The vault just north of that, between Everything Pets and Annie’s Country Sportswear, will wait for lining and fill until after that stretch of sidewalk is removed. Based on engineering, inspections, and timing, the demolition of the sidewalk on the south half of the block between Third and Fourth has been the next step for the excavation crew, and they have made quick work of the sidewalk removal there. Passing by, it is easy to see where the future bioswale will be located. The lack of vaults there has made that stretch fairly straightforward, and it looks like forms for the sidewalk could start to go in late this week.
Further north, sidewalks are really beginning to take shape on the east side of the highway, north of the new bridge. Finishing those sidewalks and reopening pedestrian access is a huge priority for the Tillamook Chief of Police, to assure safety to pedestrians trying to move from the downtown area up to the north end of town. The shuttle is still in operation, and folks are encouraged to plan ahead to take advantage of that safe (and dry!) option.
Bridge work has been hard to follow from the drive-by perspective, as crews have been working off of the old bridge platform to access the water and build the new bridge supports. Things have been moving steadily forward there, and they will be ready to remove the old bridge after Thanksgiving, which will be a dramatic change. When complete, the new bridge will be wider than the old bridge and sit higher. The area just south of the bridge, around Sue H. Elmore Park and Front St. has seen some big changes over the past few weeks. The lightweight concrete that was poured there is now being graded, which is the next step in rebuilding the road there. Access to Burden’s Muffler and Towing is now off of Main St/Highway 101, rather than Front St.
During the rest of this week, you may also notice some action on the railroad bridge, as some of the crew is stationed out there to form the new deck. The railroad bridge will be utilized by the Rail Riders, and is also part of the “Crosstown Connections” plan, that creates a trail from the Hoquarton Slough Trailhead all the way to Goodspeed Park.
As always, be safe out there. Early nightfall and rain make for tougher driving conditions, and I encourage you to be alert as you are navigating the construction area.
For more information about the project, including conceptual drawings that help visualize the project in its entirety, you can check out the ODOT page: http://oregonjta.org/region2/?p=tillamook-home