The $1.25 million Loop Road overlay project in the White Salmon area is under way, though construction began nearly a month later than originally scheduled.
A later-than-expected finish of the city of White Salmon's Loop Road water pipeline replacement project caused the delay. Now, the projected completion date for the reconstruction of 1.29 miles of Loop Road -- from Snowden Road junction to State Route 141 intersection -- is Sept. 23. (The county originally said it expected the project to require 30 working days, with a projected ending date of Sept. 1.)
"Unfortunately, due to delays, we will not be able to meet the milestones we intended prior to the beginning of school," said Project Engineer Scott Randall of the Klickitat County Public Works Department. "We are working with school officials to minimize impacts to the students, parents and the school, though not all inconvenience of construction can be avoided."
Wednesday, Aug. 31, is opening day of the 2011-12 school year in the White Salmon Valley School District. It also will be the first day of a planned three-day closure of Loop Road, from approximately the exit gate of the school bus park to the Snowden Road junction. Randall noted, however, that local access and emergency vehicles will be permitted through the work area during the closure.
Prior to the three-day closure, Klickitat County plans to notify residents and business owners, and advertise the dates for the general public in the Public Notice section of The Enterprise. Moreover, a detour route will be designated for the traveling public.
For the most part, though, flagger-controlled traffic will be restricted to one lane during the life of the project. "Motorists should expect minimal delays except at peak traffic periods, when delays may be up to 20 minutes," Randall said.
In addition to the reconstruction of the roadway, the Loop Road overlay project also calls for a right-turn lane in the west-bound lane into the schools' entrance; removal and replacement of the north-side sidewalk, plus new curbing; overlaying of the south-side sidewalk with new curbing; placement of flashing amber lights on the 20 MPH/School Zone signs; and replacement of existing stormwater grates and addition of some new ones.