May 2, 1996 in Washington Voices

Bigelow Gulch Closure Jams Traffic Onto Upriver Drive

Brian Coddington Staff Writer
 

Driving through Millwood is tough these days.

County workers closed Bigelow Gulch Road east of Argonne Road this week, forcing thousands of commuters to find alternate routes.

Further complicating the traffic situation is sewer work on Argonne and construction of a new detour for the Argonne railroad underpass.

The Bigelow Gulch closure has rerouted much of the traffic onto Upriver Drive, residents said.

Ken Roberts watched cars zip by Tuesday as he mowed the lawn at the Pasadena Park Irrigation District substation on Upriver east of Argonne. He guesses that traffic has increased by one-third along the windy road and wonders why the projects overlapped.

“It seems like they should do one, then the other,” Roberts said.

During heavy commuting times, cars lined up from Trent Avenue to Maringo Drive.

“It’s pretty bad,” said Jim Drake, who has lived on Argonne near Maringo Drive for 37 years.

Drake used a bicycle to get around Tuesday afternoon instead of his van.

“It’s just easier,” he said before working his way through traffic creeping slowly south into Millwood.

Two houses away, workers from Aurora Engineering were putting the finishing touches on a sewer line they installed as part of the Millwood sewer project.

Orange cones narrowed traffic to one lane in each direction Tuesday, the second day Aurora workers spent laying pipes across Argonne.

“I know it’s bad around here. That’s all anyone complains about is us construction workers,” said Misty Howell, grinning as she swiveled her portable stop sign to stop traffic.

Aurora workers will be installing sewer lines across the Millwood bridge today. Foreman Kevin Smith said the project will block one northbound lane. Smith expected the work to be completed today.

Work on the new Argonne underpass detour which has slowed traffic at Buckeye Avenue is expected to be complete next week.

County workers began closing Bigelow Gulch from Argonne to Forker Road from 6:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Monday to repair portions of the road, shoulder and ditches.

Bigelow Gulch, which is used by thousands of Valley residents who commute daily to the North Side, will remained closed, except to local traffic, during those hours today and Friday.

County workers also will remove bumps and ruts in the road and seal the asphalt later this summer. Traffic then will be slowed along Bigelow Gulch, but workers do not anticipate closing the road, said county spokesman Chad Hutson.

The projects are expected to cost the county $60,000.

, DataTimes ILLUSTRATION: Photo

MEMO: This sidebar appeared with the story: Detour delayed The opening of the new Argonne Road detour has been pushed back a week. The new detour will open at 5 a.m. on May 8. Drivers will still travel the Montgomery/Dale Road detour, but will use Buckeye Avenue to reconnect with Argonne Road.

This sidebar appeared with the story: Detour delayed The opening of the new Argonne Road detour has been pushed back a week. The new detour will open at 5 a.m. on May 8. Drivers will still travel the Montgomery/Dale Road detour, but will use Buckeye Avenue to reconnect with Argonne Road.

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