Fifth Avenue returning to two-way traffic

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  • (Photo by CAROLINE LOBSINGER) A flagger guides traffic as Idaho Transportation Department crews put the finishing touches before today’s switching of Fifth Avenue back to two-way traffic.

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    (Photo by CAROLINE LOBSINGER) A member of the Idaho Transportation Department lays down reflection crosswalk strips on Church Streets as crews put the finishing touches before today’s switching of Fifth Avenue back to two-way traffic.

  • (Photo by CAROLINE LOBSINGER) A flagger guides traffic as Idaho Transportation Department crews put the finishing touches before today’s switching of Fifth Avenue back to two-way traffic.

  • 1

    (Photo by CAROLINE LOBSINGER) A member of the Idaho Transportation Department lays down reflection crosswalk strips on Church Streets as crews put the finishing touches before today’s switching of Fifth Avenue back to two-way traffic.

SANDPOINT — Fifth Avenue, between Cedar and Pine streets, is now striped and ready for two-way traffic.

According to the Idaho Transportation Department, Sandpoint drivers will experience that switch between 7 a.m. and 8 a.m. today.

Nearly a month after the scheduled completion of the two-way street revision in the downtown area, the weather finally dried up enough to start the striping.

The original schedule released by the Idaho Transportation Department in March started with Fifth Avenue in the first week of April and completing all street revisions by the end of April.

City administrator Jennifer Stapleton said last week that the overall revision will still take several weeks to complete. Pine is the next street scheduled for two-way striping.

The Idaho Transportation Department began work on Fifth Avenue last summer, reassembling corners of the intersections to allow larger trucks to turn either direction when the two-way is complete. As soon as the weather lets up and ITD finishes the Highway 2/200 corridor project along Fifth Avenue, likely around the end of May, the city will stripe the other downtown streets for two-way traffic — with the exception of Main Street between Third and Fifth avenues and Pine Street between Fifth and Fourth Avenues.

Both of these sections will continue to allow one-way eastbound traffic only.

A traffic signal was installed during the summer's construction at the intersection of Fifth Avenue and Church Street. This light will replace the one at Fifth Avenue and Pine Street, which will be removed this spring. When Pine Street is striped, the block that will remain one-way, between Fifth and Fourth avenues, will have left turn only in the north lane, and traffic going straight will want to be in the south lane. There will be some on-street parking available in that area as well.

All of the city streets will be getting new paint soon as well, Stapleton said, because the paint is looking "pretty worn" after all the sand needed for the winter's icy conditions. That will begin around May 30, she said.

“We remind drivers to be looking both ways on downtown streets as they approach intersections,” said Stapleton. “We will have extra police presence downtown as the conversion is happening.”

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

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