Both lanes of E. Washington to be closed

Published 12:00 am Thursday, August 4, 2005

Effective Monday, East Washington Street will be closed to all vehicle and pedestrian traffic between Liberty Street and Hall Avenue to allow ongoing construction to proceed.

&uot;As construction has progressed, it has become necessary to close East Washington Street completely to ensure the safety of the traveling public,&uot; said Dennis Craff, spokesman for the city. &uot;Anyone who travels in this area is urged to follow the posted detour signs.&uot;

For the past several months, crews have been working in the 300 block of East Washington to put all overhead utilities underground, said Craff. The project, which paves the way for the city’s $10 million Fairgrounds urban revitalization project, also calls for the replacement of aging water and sewer mains, improved storm drainage, and a new roadway section.

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Until now, contractors have only been closing the eastbound lane of East Washington during the day; at night, they sometimes close both lanes of traffic, sending motorists on detours that wrap around several city blocks.

The street improvement project should be complete by January 2006, said Eric T. Nielsen Jr., the city’s public works director.

While East Washington will be closed to traffic, contractors will continue working with businesses in the construction zone and to provide assess to emergency vehicles, Craff said.