March 21, 2014 in City

Weekend work added to McEuen/Front project

By The Spokesman-Review
Coming changes

The last section of sidewalk on the north side of Front is nearly complete and will open Monday, along with 20 angled parking spots.

Also Monday, Lakeside Avenue traffic will be detoured around Third Street while street upgrades are made as part of the McEuen/Front project. That work will last five days and transform Third into a two-way arterial between Front and Lakeside. Third is one-way southbound along the two-block stretch.

The contractor racing to finish a major rebuild of McEuen Park and Front Avenue in downtown Coeur d’Alene has added weekends to the work schedule in anticipation of a May opening.

Contractors Northwest, Inc. will keep workers on the $20 million project seven days a week until it’s finished, the city said Thursday.

“We’re going to get as many people out there as we can (on weekends),” said Bryan Taylor, president of Contractors Northwest.

Weekend work will include landscape grading and concrete and structural work.

Parts of the park, such as a new playground and basketball and tennis courts on the east end, could open by May 2. The rest is expected to open by Memorial Day, May 26.

“It may be a phased-in opening,” city spokesman Keith Erickson said.

“They were working through the dead of winter, and we all know what that’s like in North Idaho,” Erickson said. “It was expected there would be days lost, and now they’re picking up those days.”

The site next to Tubbs Hill remains an active work zone with large piles of rubble and big equipment.

A new trail system has not been completed, and work continues around a picnic pavilion, amphitheater, boardwalk, veterans memorial and other amenities.

The project remains within budget, Erickson said.

The park features add up to $8.5 million. Another $9 million is going into the rebuild of Front Avenue, nearly 550 parking spaces, and utility work in and around the site. The remaining $2.1 million is for design costs.

About 80 percent of the project is financed through an urban renewal district.

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