OLYMPIA - Expect lane closures and parking restrictions in front of the new City Hall as crews add curbs, gutters, sidewalks and pavement on Fourth and Fifth avenues, and Cherry and Chestnut streets. A subsequent phase will add new pavement around the block.
For starters, that means the right-turn only lane on Fourth Avenue to Plum Street will be closed from Jefferson Street to just past the Chestnut Street intersection, according to the city of Olympia. Parking along that block of Fourth Avenue will also be restricted. The work is expected to continue until late this month.
Rick Dougherty, the project manager for the city, said crews were breaking up the area on Fourth Avenue on Wednesday.
“It’s going to be a little noisy while we’re breaking stuff up,” he said. “There will be some slowing of traffic. ... We’re going to try to keep traffic moving as quickly as possible.”
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Those hoping to park along the south side of Fourth between Cherry and Chestnut streets will have to wait until the end of August. By then, the city plans to have paved around the site and in the parking lot in the rear of the City Hall block, which is reserved for police vehicles.
Chestnut Street will be widened for angled parking, Dougherty said. A new pay station will be installed along Fourth Avenue.
Hoffman Construction is building the four-story, 88,000-square-foot building for more than $35 million. It will consolidate city operations that are now spread out in more than a dozen buildings. When new City Hall is complete, the 1960s vintage City Hall at 900 Plum St. S.E. will be retained as a judicial center.
The frontage improvements already added to Fifth Avenue are the signs of things to come.
“If you cruise by Fifth Avenue, you get an idea of how good it’s going to look,” Dougherty said. “It’s going to look really nice when we’re done.”
Matt Batcheldor: 360-704-6869 firstname.lastname@example.org