Construction Zone - Work begins on Phase II of Olympic Ave. project
August 27, 2008 · Updated 5:40 PM
ARLINGTON Arlingtons downtown financial district was the first to feel the impact of the North Olympic Avenue Reconstruction Project April 23, as the 500 block of the street was closed to vehicle traffic.
City of Arlington Capital Projects Manager Paul Ellis explained that the first week of the project, through April 27, has been set aside to prepare this first segment of the street, by moving equipment on site and hooking in the storm water main.
The 400 block of Olympic Avenue will be fenced off the following week, as construction on the two blocks begins in earnest, and continues through the months of May and June.
Of the five banks on the 500 block, two have closed their drive-through windows.
Vicki Aungst, manager of the Washington Mutual on Olympic Avenue, expects her banks two drive-through lanes will be closed until at least mid-June.
She invited customers who might have difficulty walking into Washington Mutual from either of its pedestrian entrances to call the bank, at 360-435-5517, Mondays through Fridays from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
If youre disabled, we can make arrangements to accommodate your needs, said Aungst, who noted that Washington Mutual has a parking lot and a pedestrian entry that can be accessed from Fifth Street. The city has done a really awesome job of informing and involving us throughout this project.
Nancy Holiman, manager of the Frontier Bank on Olympic Avenue, offered similar services to those who call her bank, at 360-435-2139, Mondays through Thursdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Fridays from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Holiman reported that Frontier Bank will also close its drive-through after deciding that setting up a u-turn in its parking lot would be impractical.
We need that parking lot open, Holiman said. Its going to be a long two months.
Ellis assured Olympic Avenue businesses that they would receive newsletters on the projects progress every two weeks.
He expected that many updates would be issued as soon as the citys staff and contractor, Strider Construction, become aware of any issues.
For businesses that depend more heavily on water than others, such as restaurants and dentists offices, Ellis emphasized that construction workers would do what they could to schedule the water main switchovers either after business hours, or else during relatively low business hours such as early mornings or late evenings.
It only takes one or two hours to make the changeover, Ellis said. With businesses like dentists offices, we can let them know when it will happen ahead of time enough that they might be able to avoid scheduling any patients during those outage periods. Businesses that depend heavily upon water to do business will be given first priority in scheduling.
Ellis reiterated that each two-block section of Olympic Avenue is anticipated to require two months of construction.
He elaborated that features such as asphalt lines and light poles will need to be installed after the rest of the street construction has been finished.
As for sidewalks, Ellis said it should only take a few hours to remove sidewalk surfaces and replace them with temporary surfaces, but installing permanent surfaces for sidewalks will require each section of sidewalk to be closed for 24 hours.