Cedar Street project is back on schedule

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This screenshot from a 2017 Sandpoint City Council meeting depicts what the sidewalk along Cedar Street will look like when the first phase of the city's downtown revitalization project is complete.

SANDPOINT — Cedar Street improvements, which were originally scheduled for last summer, are back on the calendar as the city will open the bidding process next month.

"We are all excited about getting this project started this summer," said Dennis Fuller with Century West Engineering, the company contracted by the city to design the project, as he made a short presentation to City Council on Wednesday.

Improvements on Cedar, between Fifth and Second avenues, were originally scheduled for last summer, but after receiving only one bid for the construction, City Council members voted unanimously to reject it. The bid was approximately 25 percent over the cost estimated by Century West staff.

"There was a lot of work ... in road repairs from winter damage, and I think that booked up a lot of the contractors and that's why we didn't get a good, competitive bid atmosphere," Fuller said at the time.

The project will include sidewalk reconstruction, stormwater piping, storm gardens with seating, benches, bike racks, landscaping, lighting, street trees, places for public art and pedestrian features.

If all goes as planned this year, a bid will be awarded in March and construction will begin after Lost in the '50s weekend in May. A pre-construction public workshop is on the schedule for the end of April as well.

"Once we get a contractor on board, we want him to attend a workshop with local businesses to hear their concerns as far as acess and keeping traffic flow," Fuller said.

Fuller said traffic will remain open in one direction, heading westbound, throughout the construction on Cedar.

In addition to the work on Cedar, the sewer replacement along First Avenue will continue in August after the conclusion of Festival at Sandpoint. The sewer project began last year, running from just south of Lake Street to north of Church Street. Beginning from where crews left off, this year's construction will extend up First, rounding the corner on Cedar and ending at Second Avenue. Traffic will be detoured during the construction, which is expected to conclude in November.

"I think a lot of Cedar Street is going to be complete prior to the sewer work being started, so we may be able to open two-way traffic on a portion of Cedar Street by the time the sewer work starts," Fuller said.

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

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