'A' Street Improvements

The 12. 2 million ‘A’ Street improvement project in Rainier is expected to be completed by the end of July.

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Rainier's $12.2 million ‘A’ Street improvement project is on time and on budget to be completed by the end of July, according to the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT).

The railroad tracks along the street were replaced from July through October 2019 and the road improvement project started in October of last year, according to ODOT spokesman Lou Torres.

“For the road improvement portion of the project, we are constructing the project in 2-3 block segments,” Torres said. “At this point, the north side (river side) of the tracks is complete through base lift. This includes storm sewers, sidewalks, curbs, luminaire poles, and asphalt paving through base lift. On the south side, we have completed storm sewers, sidewalks, curbs, asphalt paving and base lift from W. 2nd St. to E. 2nd St. and the electrical subcontractor is currently installing luminaire poles.”

The railroad contractor returned this week and is installing the new crossing signals at W 2nd, E 1st, and E 3rd Streets. Torres said that work is anticipated to be completed by the end of this month.

The road improvement contractor Thompson Brothers Excavating (TBE), is currently installing a cured-in-place lining on the sanitary sewers and that work is anticipated to be completed early next week.

“Once the sanitary sewer work is completed, TBE will install the storm sewer from E. 2nd to E. 6th (south side) followed by curb, base paving, and sidewalks,” Torres said. This is projected to be completed by late June.”

Torres said the top lift of asphalt pavement will be placed after everything else is complete. TBE will pave 'A' street in three days – paving one side of the street each day, then paving side road connections on the third day.

“We have encountered many things during construction, but TBE has done a good job of adapting and has kept the project moving forward,” Torres said. “The major challenges have been unanticipated utility conflicts, underground oil tanks, surprise voids and vaults under the existing sidewalk, and maintaining access for businesses and residents.”

According to Torres, the City of Rainier has added paving improvements on three side streets, and also installed a new waterline on the north side of the tracks to eliminate service crossings under the RR.

“The business owners, residents, and business patrons have been very patient with the inevitable disruptions that have resulted from construction,” Torres said. “The City of Rainier’s Public Works Department has also been heavily involved and has played a critical role in addressing and resolving issues as they arose.  We really appreciate the City and everyone’s help and cooperation. “

The A Street Improvement Project is designed to improve safety along the main street of the City of Rainier, where previously the rail line had bisected the community without any safety barriers.

The specific project improvements

  •  “Daylighting” the rail tracks, moving and realigning them to expose the tracks and eliminate the asphalt road covering of the tracks
  • Upgrading city utilities
  • Installing curbing to maintain separation between vehicles and rail tracks
  • Adding new crossing gates at the intersection of the railway and the road

The project has been in the works for approximately 13 years.

"Including the new A Street Plaza and upgraded utilities, the total cost of the project is $12.2 million with funding coming from nine different sources including a Connect Oregon grant and PNWR required match, ODOT’s Rail and Public Transit Division, Oregon Legislatively approved Regional Solutions funds, Business Oregon and City of Rainier," Torres said.

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