After more than five years, the City of Chewelah will be able to complete reconstruction for the the final section of E Main Avenue with grant funding awarded by the Washington State Transportation Improvement Board (TIB) in November 2012.
Chewelah was awarded more than $950,000 to reconstruct the deteriorated section of East Main between Fourth Street East and Quartzite Loop, which ends near God Fearing Brothers Auto Center. This section of the road is also known as Segment B as it is the second piece to three-part design first created more than seven years ago to improve the entire East side of the city’s arterial.
Construction for Segment A of East Main Avenue, from Highway 395 to Fourth Street East, and Segment C, from Quartzite Loop to the edge of city limits, was completed between 2005 and 2007.
Segment A enhanced the downtown business area in addition to road reconstruction. Segment C included a road redesign for Flowery Trail Road that removed 90-degree turns. Both projects were funded by TIB in addition to other grant sources for about $3 million total.
The Segment B project will be a complete reconstruction of the road, and includes new utilities, sidewalks, and lighting. The city plans to put power underground to match the rest of the street as well. Although TIB does not technically fund water system upgrades, Frizzell said the funds may help pay for relocating the water line closer to the road. Additionally, he said the funds will cover the cost to upgrade the project design to current standards as it has not been updated since 2007.
Frizzell said adding sidewalks will create a safer walking path for many people who walk that stretch of road and installing new street lights will extend downtown to Fifth Street E before making a more gradual transition into how Segment C looks now.
Although all three sections of Main Avenue were expected to be completed in a close time frame, Frizzell said the previous administration failed to seek grants for Segment B once funds ran out following the completion of Segment C. Frizzell said he has been searching for grants to fund the project since he started as CA more than a year ago.
TIB awards competitive grants based on need and priority and a road rating system. The TIB funded project must also be a priority on the city’s transportation improvement plan (TIP) to be selected. Segment B rated very low compared to other roads in the state, Frizzell said, and was the number one priority on the city’s TIP.
Chewelah Mayor Clancy Bauman said he helped get the Main Street project started and hopes to see it completed before his final term is over at the end of 2013. Bauman was first elected in 2002.
The City of Chewelah was also awarded an additional $123,957 from TIB to add sidewalks on the north side of E Lincoln Avenue between Third Street East and the Jenkins High School entrance. This includes all construction costs associated with sidewalks, including making sure they comply with current ADA accessibility standards. Frizzell said he is excited about the project, which he helped initiate, as it will make the street much safer for the students that travel it each day since Gess Elementary and Jenkins High School are both on E Lincoln Avenue.
There are currently sidewalks on the South side of Lincoln Avenue from the Highway 395 to JHS.
Both TIB projects will be 95 percent grant funded. The city was responsible for a 5 percent local match, which will be possible by the money set aside for grant matching from the sale of the property at E Main and Fourth Street East. The former parking lot sold for $80,000 in 2012.
Frizzell said they have two years to complete the Main and Lincoln avenue projects and expects at least one to be finished by the end of 2013. Work for both projects is already in progress but construction will not start before Chataqua, Frizzell said.
In 2012, TIB awarded road and sidewalk improvement competitive grants to 125 local agencies totaling $104 million.
The Town of Springdale received $300,000 to repave multiple streets in the community. The funding to Springdale combines with $215,000 previously awarded by TIB to restore streets after the city’s upcoming water line replacement.
TIB grant funding comes from the revenue generated by three cents of the statewide gas tax dedicated to the Legislature for TIB programs.
Visit www.tib.wa.gov to view project details and other grants awarded statewide.
By Kellie Trudeau, The Independent Staff