Work on the Lovell Streets summer Main Street reconstruction and water and sewer project started Monday, with work commencing at the west end of Main Street to remove the median strip in preparation for replacing the irrigation water drain that crosses Main at Great Western Avenue.
Wyoming Dept. of Transportation Public Affairs Specialist Cody Beers said the project is beginning at both ends of Main Street during Phase I, resulting in one-lane traffic with cones and flagging.
The main emphasis initially is on the west end, where spring irrigating will make replacing the drain line a priority, Beers said, noting that the contract calls for the drain to be finished by May 10. The schedule calls for an irrigation box to be installed on Saturday, April 26, he added. Work is also beginning to replace the water lines at the west end of Main and tie a new line into the sugar factory.
Traffic will be merely diverted during Phase I at both ends of Main, Beers said, but the hard closures during Phase II will begin later in the spring. The current estimate is May 20, he said.
During the hard closure phase, two blocks of Main Street will be closed to all traffic, and a block on each side will have a soft closure in effect, with no through traffic but local traffic allowed. As the work advances west, the forward soft closure will become a hard closure and the easternmost hard closure will open up into a soft closure as finishing work is performed.
During the hard closure on each two-block stretch WyDOT and the contractors will install plastic fencing at the back of the curb to keep pedestrians safe and out of the work zone. Dirt will be placed on the existing concrete to soften the effects of heavy equipment, Beers noted.
Reiman Corp. is the general contractor for the project, with Wilson Brothers Construction of Cowley once again handling the water and sewer line work. Engineers from WyDOT will work side-by-side with Town of Lovell engineers from DOWL HKM Engineering.
The $4.9 million project is the final phase of Lovell’s water and sewer infrastructure project, as well as a planned project by WyDOT to replace deteriorating driving surfaces on Main and gain Americans with Disabilities Act compliance on sidewalks from Shoshone Avenue west.
Work will be done six days a week, Monday through Saturday, from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Beers said, and the project will shut down completely during Mustang Days.
Beers emphasized that the public is invited to attend weekly work meetings that will be held every Tuesday at 11 a.m. at the Lovell Fire Hall.
Beers said citizens are invited to attend, listen in, ask questions and make comments. The meetings are designed to keep the public up to speed on the progress of the work as it proceeds up Main Street.
The contract completion date is Oct. 31.
By David Peck