Road projects to begin in downtown Granite Falls

GRANITE FALLS — A series of construction projects in downtown Granite Falls is scheduled to start Monday and continue through the summer.

More than $1.6 million in street, sidewalk and water line work is planned. The Granite Falls City Council last month awarded a $1.22 million contract to Monroe-based Welwest Construction, Inc. The city’s budget for the work is about $400,000 higher than estimates in the contract, which do not yet include project management expenses, according to city documents.

Temporary fencing is expected to go up on the first block of South Granite Avenue, between Stanley and Galena streets, on Monday. Drivers should expect detours for about four weeks, city manager Brent Kirk said. Most businesses there have parking or pedestrian access in back.

The plan is to replace sidewalks along that block of South Granite Avenue and repave the road. Over the next few months, new sidewalks also are going in on both sides of Wabash Avenue between Stanley and Union streets and on the south side of Pioneer Street from Kentucky to South Granite Avenue.

The sidewalks are designed to have permeable pavement and gravel parking areas along the roads also will be replaced with permeable pavers, as will all on-street parking spaces, according to the designs. The pavers should help with water drainage downtown during storms or incessant rain.

An old, undersized water main along two blocks of Wabash Avenue is slated for removal so a new line can be installed during the roadwork.

City officials have been working with businesses along the first block of Granite Avenue, including the Buzz Inn, Ace Hardware, Premier Realty, the laundromat and the fire station. Workers hope to be done with that block by June so the street and sidewalks can reopen in time for the busy summer season. Hikers, campers and other travelers pass through Granite Falls on their way up to the Mountain Loop Highway and summer is the peak time for most local businesses.

Pavement overlays also are planned this spring and summer on part of the Mountain Loop Highway, on Stanley Street from Portage to Granite Avenue and on South Alder Avenue from Menzel Lake Road to Galena Street.

Much of the work is paid for through grants, including a Transportation Improvement Board grant covering 95 percent of the $418,600 South Granite Avenue construction and a Washington Department of Ecology Low Impact Development grant for three quarters of the $847,00 Wabash and Pioneer construction.

The city’s share of the roadwork is covered in part by the new $20 vehicle licensing fee through the city’s Transportation Benefit District. Utility fees and a loan from Snohomish County are paying for the water main work.

Traffic delays, detours and closures are expected during construction.

More information is online at granitefallswa.gov. People also can call City Hall at 360-691-6441 with questions.

Kari Bray: 425-339-3439; kbray@heraldnet.com

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