News

Griffin Avenue open, so Streetscape shifts to Cole

Phase 2 is planned

to take three weeks

By Kevin Hanson

The Courier-Herald

With Griffin Avenue again open to motorists, work crews have shifted their focus to Phase 2 of Enumclaw's downtown Streetscape project.

Construction teams were back on the job Tuesday morning, tearing up sections of Cole Street sidewalk between Stevenson and Initial avenues. Total reconstruction of that one-block stretch of Cole is expected to take three weeks and, during that time, traffic will be routed around the construction area.

Now that work has shifted to Cole Street, the project becomes more ambitious. The entire four-block section between Stevenson and Marshall avenues will see the complete removal of both street and sidewalk. The traditional curb-and-sidewalk approach will be replaced with a "zero-curb" plan, where the street and sidewalks consist of a flat plane stretching across the street from one storefront to another. There will be physical and visual barriers to separate traffic lanes and parking strips from pedestrian areas.

Any day now - if it hasn't happened already - workers will be eliminating the temporary parking lots that were established on Cole Street in the blocks both north and south of Griffin Avenue. The temporary parking was provided while Griffin was under construction as a way to keep shoppers close to merchants' front doors. With the Cole/Griffin intersection opening to traffic, things will revert to the traditional parallel parking system.

Last week, crews worked frantically to get Griffin Avenue finished, as promised, by the holiday weekend. "It was a crazy week," said Les Johnson, director of the city's Department of Community Development. Addressing a small crowd of downtown merchants Friday morning, Johnson said crews were paving until 11 p.m. Thursday and had worked until 2 a.m. earlier in the week.

He said the long hours won't cost the city extra, because that's what was necessary for the contractor to keep on schedule. Weather early in the week had caused a delay, Johnson said.

The remainder of the Streetscape schedule looks like this:

€ Phase 3, Cole Street between Marshall and Myrtle avenues, three weeks.

€ Phase 4, Cole Street between Initial and Griffin avenues, three weeks.

€ Phase 5, Cole Street between Griffin and Myrtle avenues, three weeks.

€ Phase 6, Griffin Avenue, between Wells and Porter streets, two weeks.

Aside from a new road surface, curbs and sidewalks, downtown will be dressed up with amenities such as new lights, benches and trash receptacles. The goal is to make downtown Enumclaw more pedestrian friendly and encourage the public to wander the downtown corridor.

Weather permitting, it's anticipated the entire Streetscape project will be wrapped up by the middle of September.

Kevin Hanson can be reached at khanson@courierherald.com

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