The first phase of construction of a “bike boulevard” on Washington Street begins Monday – in the middle of West 17th Avenue.
The road will be closed between Main and Adams streets while Valley Center contractor PRADA Construction LLC builds a new island in the center of the street.
The work is scheduled until Friday, June 24.
The purpose of the island, city officials explained, is to give cyclists using Washington Street a safer way to cross busy 17th Avenue, allowing them to stop halfway.
One result, however, is that motorists will no longer be able to continue on Washington; they will be forced to make a right turn.
Travelers on 17th Avenue will also no longer be able to turn left from 17th onto Washington Street.
After the island is built, the contractor will move north, rebuilding part of the street and paving the rest between 17th and 19th Avenues, said Jeff Schenk, the city’s engineering construction manager.
Schenk said he doesn’t have a timeline for the work yet, but it will take some time as the contractor will replace a collapsed storm sewer pipe between 18th and 19th Avenues and install a new “traffic circle.” at the 18th Avenue intersection, eliminate stop signs at this location.
“A wall collapsed,” Schenk said of the storm drain. “Once they replace that, they’ll level it with asphalt and do an asphalt overlay” on the two-block section.
From there, the project extends north to 27th Avenue, including another roundabout west of 24th Avenue.
City Council awarded the $479,350 contract in October.