Ivar Vong

The Eugene Department of Public Works (DPW) is counting on a busy summer for road construction, with a dozen projects already in the works all over town. Of the projects nearest to campus that might affect students’ commuting and leisurely travels, here are four to be mindful of:

• 29th Avenue and Willamette Street: Day trips to hike Spencer’s Butte might take a little longer than usual because of a lane closure at a heavily trafficked intersection near the southern edge of town. Brown Contracting of Eugene is in the midst of completely rebuilding the intersection using concrete surfacing with the hope that a thorough repair will deter the need for further work in the short run.

John Bonham, the project manager for the roadwork, stated in a DPW press release that “one of our objectives was to fix this intersection so we wouldn’t have to go back and do additional repairs for many years” because of the traffic disruptions created when working in busy intersections. Bonham said the roadway handles an average of 30,000 vehicles per day, and prolonged lane closures in such high-traffic areas can cause considerable delays and increases the need for detours. The roadwork will be conducted on half of the street at a time, significantly reducing vehicle capacity.

Traffic signals have been disconnected at the intersection since late April, and a four-way stop is currently in place to manage transit flow. Eric Jones, DPW’s public affairs manager, hopes the construction will be completed in mid-July, two weeks ahead of the city’s scheduled completion date of July 31.

• Patterson Street between 19th and 24th Avenues: Starting today, Patterson Street will be closed at 19th Avenue, including the 19th Avenue intersection, so Wildish Construction can begin excavating the existing roadway and placing a new roadway base. During the closure, through traffic must use alternate routes, and a detour sign is in place directing southbound traffic to use Pearl Street until 24th Avenue, where cars can again travel south on Patterson.

• High Street between Third and 17th Avenues: Pavement rehabilitation of more than a dozen blocks along High Street began today, involving the replacement of top layers of deteriorated pavement and the removal of sections of completely failed pavement. Two-way traffic flow will be maintained from 3rd to 6th Avenues with the use of flaggers, and at least one lane of northbound traffic will be open between 6th and 17th Avenues.

• 13th Avenue from Alder Street to Washington Street: One lane of 13th Avenue will be closed beginning the week of July 6 as 13 blocks of the corridor receive a makeover, courtesy of the Federal American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. Matt Rodrigues, a civil engineer for the city and the project’s manager, said the project will be “fairly fast paced, but will cause delays on 13th Avenue during the heaviest periods of work.”

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