With the Crain Avenue Bridge repair work still underway the traffic on Main Street to head north on SR 43 has been very heavy. I’ve seen the traffic back up all the way to Taco Bell on East Main Street trying to cut through downtown. It’s important to remember that Main Street to 43 is actually not the posted detour route but intuitively it feels like it should be shorter to cut through downtown rather than using SR 59 to northbound 43 so a lot of folks are ignoring the detour posting but they’re paying a price in frustration as they hit the traffic backlog. In the meantime the SR 59 detour bypasses the downtown jam and I’ve found it to be free flowing, especially since there’s no Crain Avenue bridge traffic to contend with. I offer this bit of friendly advice since according to an update from Gene Roberts, Public Service Director, the soonest the bridge will be re-opened is December 12th.
Here is a report from Gene Roberts on the status of the Crain Avenue Bridge repairs:
The work progress continues to meet challenges below the Crain Ave. bridge. When the contractor attempted to push the sanitary through the old storm sewer a bend in the pipe prevented their progress. Today (12/4/08) CSX has provided an 8-hour window for the contractor to open cut under the eastern most rail to realign the sanitary sewer which may make it possible to connect the sanitary in one or two days.
What our current thought is once the sanitary sewer is placed back into gravity service and the pump will no longer be required we could reopen the bridge with lane restrictions as needed for the storm sewer work to progress. This may allow for an opening earlier then our current target of 12/12 (next Friday) but it will have the down side of traffic disruption of the bridge for an extended time period. One thought is to allow only east bound traffic which would provide for emergency response from KFD Station 2 to the northeast side of town. We will review internally with fire, police and engineering and with the CSX Contractor (Midwest Mole) prior to a final decision.