Two-way streets revision dependent on weather

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(Courtesy rendering/CITY OF SANDPOINT) This map shows what the downtown streets will look like after most revert to two-way traffic as soon as the weather clears up enough to stripe the roads.

SANDPOINT — The city has seen few dry days this month, throwing off the Idaho Transportation Department’s timeline of transitioning streets from one-way to two-way traffic this month.

Originally, according to a work schedule released by ITD late last month, Fifth Avenue and Pine Street would have already been converted. Church Street was scheduled to be converted next week.

Reed Hollinshead, ITD communications, said in an email to the Daily Bee that while it appears no work is underway, that is not the case. Thorco, the subcontractor responsible for the electrical and signalization work on the project, has been pulling wires through conduit and preparing to initialize the traffic signals along Fifth Avenue.

Next week, Hollinshead said, Thorco will be installing new traffic signal control cabinets starting with Larch Street at Fifth Avenue and Boyer Avenue at Highway 2. Concurrently, they will install signal heads at these locations and will be intermittently closing lanes of traffic.

All of the cabinet swap and signal head placement work will occur at night to minimize traffic impact.

Hollinshead said, ideally, the removal of pavement markings and application of new markings for the two-way revision would take place at that time as well.

“However, this work requires a stretch of several days of good weather, and that is something we have yet to experience,” Hollinshead said. “Once the work for the transition begins, we are committed to that activity until it has been completed. A close eye is being kept on the forecast and we will alert the public of the construction activities as far in advance as possible. Right now, we need some good weather to move forward on the traffic transition.”

Work began along Fifth Avenue last August in preparation for the two-way revision. Workers reassembled cornes to allow larger trucks to turn either direction. The traffic light at the corner of Fifth and Pine will be removed and a new one will be activated at Fifth and Church. Cedar Street has a complete makeover starting in June, during which it will be converted to two-way traffic as well. It will also get wider sidewalks, new street furniture and more.

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