The cool, rainy spring is complicating street paving projects planned for downtown Coeur d’Alene, with contractors trying to squeeze work in around the city’s busy schedule of summer events.
Paving Sherman Avenue through the heart of downtown was due to begin today but now has been put off until at least next week due to cold and rainy weather, said Rusty Price, project manager for the contractor, Poe Asphalt Paving of Post Falls.
“You can’t pave in the rain,” Price said. “With overlays over existing asphalt, the ground temperature has to be 50 degrees and rising.”
In the coming weeks the following paving projects will occur: Sherman Avenue from Second to Seventh streets, Ironwood Drive from U.S. Highway 95 to Government Way, and 15th Street from Harrison to Mullan avenues.
The contractors will meet with city officials Tuesday to determine whether to move forward with the Sherman Avenue project next week or wait until after Car d’Lane, the city’s popular classic car show that occupies downtown on the weekend of June 17-18, Price said.
The Sherman Avenue project will take about 11 days, and if it can’t be finished by Car d’Lane, Price said, it’ll be done after that event. However, that means they’ll have to work around the Ford Ironman race the following weekend.
“Sherman is the jewel of downtown,” Price said. “It’s going to be inconvenient. You gotta break an egg to make an omelet, but we’re trying to create the least amount of impact.”
Work began Monday on the Ironwood Drive project, said Bryan Woodward, owner of Cat’s Eye Excavating in Rathdrum, a subcontractor. That should be completed by June 13.
If crews can’t start Sherman Avenue next week, Price said, they’ll move up the 15th Street work, which currently isn’t scheduled to start until June 2. That street provides one of several north-south thoroughfares connecting downtown with Interstate 90. It’s especially important on July 4 when thousands of people leave the city at once after the fireworks.
Though the paving is mostly scheduled to occur at night, from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m., it will cause temporary closures, limit traffic to one lane in places and necessitate some detours.
“You just have to keep the businesses as happy as you can while you’re improving the streets,” Price said.
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