Tim Leeds Havre Daily News email@example.com
The reconstruction of U.S. Highway 2 where it passes through Havre as First Street is set to begin again Monday, with work starting on the downtown section from Seventh Avenue to First Avenue West. A public meeting about the project is scheduled for Wednesday. Gary Berg, Montana Department of Transportation engineering project manager, said a key part to the project will be making sure access is provided to businesses while work goes on. “We’ll just have to make sure there is access. It is not an option,” he said this morning. During the third phase, sidewalks will be removed from Seventh Avenue to Montana Avenue and no on-street parking allowed. Traffic will be diverted to two lanes through the section, as had been done in the eastern and western sections last summer. Weyers, project manager for Nelcon, Inc., the business doing the reconstruction work, said access to businesses will be provided as it was in the west end of town last summer, although there will be locations where people will have to park off of First Street to get to the businesses. “There are not too many approaches to some businesses, but it will be the same as the west-end access,” he said this morning. Berg said access will be ensured while work on the sidewalks is done, including providing flat walking surfaces and ramps to provide access for people with disabilities as needed. “Everybody is used to traffic control signs; we’ll have to have them for pedestrians as well,” he said. Travel on U.S. 2 where it passes through Havre remains closed to loads more than 12 feet wide during the project. As the existing pavement is removed and utility work conducted, all traffic through town will be on gravel until the new pavement is laid, scheduled to be completed by Sept. 4 in the downtown section. The schedule is for traffic to be routed to the two southernmost lanes downtown between Seventh Avenue and First Avenue West Monday while work is done on the northern half of the section, including removing the asphalt, curb and gutter; installing a new sanitary sewer line and a new water line, and connecting the new water service. Traffic is scheduled to be moved to the northern lanes on June 3 while work is done in the southern part of the section, including installing new storm mains and electrical lines. Weyers said there will be some disruption of traffic from the viaduct, with the ability of traffic to turn onto First Street limited. He said that at that point, traffic will have to find an alternate route such as detouring to 22nd Avenue to turn onto First Street or finding some other route. Berg said the hope is to minimize any of that disruption, including trying to complete the work near Seventh Avenue and the viaduct before the harvest season starts. He said the project entails attempting to coordinate with the railroad and the local grain elevators as well, with most grain traffic to Be routed to the east end at 22nd Avenue. Water service also will be disrupted while the new water mains are connected. Weyers said the businesses and residences will be given ample advance notification and the disruption will be limited to four to six hours or an alternate source provided if the connection will take longer. Most of the work on the vaulted sidewalks on Third and Second avenues over Havre Beneath the Streets was completed last fall, including reinforcing the vaults themselves. Weyers said the section on Second Avenue will be resurfaced during the final work on the project, but the permanent surface over the vaults on Third Avenue was completed last fall. Paving on the downtown section is scheduled for July 9 through Sept. 4, according to the project Web site. Work has essentially been completed on the eastern edge of town from Seventh Avenue by the viaduct east to 22nd Ave. That has included installing new storm drain mains and water mains and repaving the street with concrete. On the western edge, from First Avenue West to Ninth Avenue West, the utility work in the northern lanes has been completed, including installing new sewer mains and storm drain mains. The traffic is scheduled to be diverted to the gravel surface on the northern lanes on March 10 for work to begin in the southern lanes. The tentative schedule for that work on the project Web site is from March 10 to June 6, including removing the pavement and curbs and gutters and installing a new water main. Paving on the section is scheduled from April 16 to May 7, including pouring concrete surfaces for the street, installing new curbs and sidewalks, paving the approaches to businesses and parking lots and installing signing. The public meeting about the scheduled construction is set to start at 9 a.m. Wednesday in the Hospitality Room on the east side of the Hill County Electric-Triangle Telephone offices west of Havre on Highway 2. Information about the construction schedule is also available via the Internet at www.us2havre. com, and at the local radio frequency 1610 AM.