Schedule set for street reversion

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This map shows what the streets will look like after the full two-way reversion is complete. The first stage, which will revert Fifth Avenue to two-way traffic, is scheduled for next week. April 3-7 work will include striping, signage and signals on Fifth Avenue between Pine and Cedar to revert that section to two-way. Pine, Church, First and Cedar are scheduled for reversion as well, but will remain unchanged during the first stage next week.

SANDPOINT — Fifth Avenue is scheduled for striping next week as the first stage of the city's two-way street reversion is set to commence — weather permitting, of course.

Fifth Avenue is just the beginning as one-way streets in the downtown area will be converted to two-way throughout the month of April. According to a statement released this week by the Idaho Transportation Department, work along Fifth Avenue will resume Monday and next week's schedule includes striping, signage and traffic signals on Fifth. The street will be converted to two-way traffic heading north and south. There will be no change to First Avenue, Cedar or Pine streets during this stage.

The work along Fifth Avenue began last summer and was scheduled to be converted to two-way in the fall, but was suspended due to weather.

"The biggest deterrent to having your product stick, whether it's the paving or the striping, is the moisture content in the air," said Reed Hollinshead, ITD communications.  

He said whether the moisture comes in the form of rain or snow, it can cause issues with street work. Some of the work could take place with a light rain, though.

The ITD schedule, weather depending, is as follows:

April 3-7 — Work will include striping, signage and signals on Fifth Avenue, which will be converted to two-way traffic heading north and south. First Avenue, Cedar and Pine streets will be unchanged during this conversion.

April 8-11 — Pine Street between First and Fifth avenues will be converted to two-way traffic going east and west. Work will also include striping, signage, and signals.

April 12-24 — Crews will divert all through and truck traffic to from northbound First Avenue to westbound Pine Street to northbound Fifth Avenue. This will allow striping, signage, and signal work from First and Pine, to Fifth and Cedar. Southbound traffic from Fifth to Pine will remain unchanged.

April 25-28 — Church Street will be converted to two-way traffic east and west between First and Fifth avenues. Through traffic will be diverted one to two blocks at a time. Striping also will occur.

April 28-May 5 — This fifth and final phase will complete the northeast corner at the intersection of Fifth and Pine, returning one block of Pine to one-way traffic between Fourth and Fifth avenues.

Earthworks Northwest, Inc., of Sandpoint is the contractor on this $2.1 million project.

The two-way reversion is part of the city's plan to revitalize the downtown area. After the reversion is complete, work will begin along Cedar Street to include wider sidewalks, new street furniture, storm gardens and other improvements between Fifth and Second avenues.

Century West was contracted by the city to design the project. Construction on Cedar will not begin until after Lost in the '50s weekend, which is May 18-21. No work will be done over the Fourth of July either.

"We're trying not to impact community events," said Christine Fueston, business development and senior project manager with Century West.

"We know that we've got an impact, but we are trying to lessen it as much as we can and make it friendly for the bigger events."

This phase of the downtown revitalization project also includes replacement of a sewer main along First Avenue, which was originally scheduled to begin in early to mid-August. Because sections of First Avenue will be shut down during the replacement, that project was pushed back to late August so as not to disrupt traffic during the Festival at Sandpoint.

Construction is scheduled through November for both Cedar Street improvements and the sewer main replacement on First Avenue.

Mary Malone can be reached by email at mmalone@bonnercountydailybee.com and follow her on Twitter @MaryDailyBee.

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