Navigating Around Road Construction July 16, 2021

There have been several road related construction projects in downtown. While the community will benefit from the collective projects, the short-term unintended impacts can at times make it more difficult to navigate around the City. Some of these projects include but are not limited to:

  • Fourth Street Capital Improvement Project
  • Ongoing sidewalk projects
  • intersection realignment and installation of traffic signals and railroad crossing arms at Hemlock Avenue and Bayshore Drive
  • Johnson Avenue / Hwy 101 intersection improvement project
  • Hwy 101 traffic signal upgrades

Last year, the Fourth Street Capital Improvement Project kicked off. The project is in essence a total reconstruction of street and sidewalks on Fourth Street from Commercial Avenue to Donnelly Avenue. The project will include replacing the traffic signals at N. Fourth Street and Commercial Avenue as well as S. Fourth Street and Anderson Avenue. Almost all the sidewalk work and the paving has been completed between Commercial and Anderson avenues. Currently, the contractor is removing the old street surface and installing a proper road base and a new asphalt wearing surface from Anderson Avenue to Donnelly Avenue. Once that is complete the focus will be on striping, energizing the new traffic signals at Anderson and Commercial along with removing the old traffic signals and poles. The project is scheduled to be completed by the end of August. 

More than a year ago, the City engaged Knife River Materials to undertake improvements to the stormwater infrastructure, construct some needed retaining walls, sidewalks, and ADA ramps, along with crosswalk improvements on Sixth Avenue and on D Street in the Eastside area. Unfortunately, the construction work required months of traffic detours. That project was completed earlier this year. 

We recently completed the replacement of the sidewalk and ADA ramp in front of Coos Art Museum, a  section in the 200 block of S. Second Street, and are now working in the 400 block of Commercial Avenue. 

If you have traveled on Highway 101 and in the area near the new Coos Bay Village development, you have no doubt noticed some traffic revisions. There are currently six new buildings at Coos Bay Village, four have been completed, and two are under construction. An additional five buildings are scheduled to be built. The anticipated traffic at full buildout will require a new traffic signal, rail crossing safety arms, and realignment of intersection of Bayshore Drive (Hwy 101) and Hemlock Avenue. The work is nearly complete, but the signals have not been activated as they are waiting the signal control cabinet which has been delayed and is not expected to be installed mid-August. 

Earlier this year ODOT began their project to upgrade the two Highway 101 intersections on Johnson Avenue. Earlier this week they completed most of the road resurfacing. ODOT also began another project this week to replace and update all the control cabinets for the traffic signals along Highway 101 in downtown Coos Bay. This project is scheduled to be completed by the end of the month.

There are more street projects, along with a parking lot construction project, being planned for later this year. Undoubtedly, those projects will entail some temporary detours. While traffic revisions can make it more difficult to navigate around the City, I prefer to look at them as evidence of economic development and investments in improving our community.

-Joe Benetti, Mayor of Coos Bay