First, a big thank you to everyone involved in putting on the very successful Monsters on Machines Event last Saturday. Special thanks go to Langley Main Street, South Whidbey Commons, SRV Construction, Moonraker Books and local author Deb Lund (author of Monsters on Machines children’s book) for planning and participating in the event.
The project remains on schedule as we have officially transitioned from the underground utility work to construction of the street, plaza, rain garden and sidewalks. The curb and gutter has been installed on the east and west ends of the street and sidewalks will begin to be poured in those areas starting next week. The plaza is also starting to take shape with the construction of the seat-walls. The middle section of the street (between the Star Store and the Post Office) will be constructed of concrete and the curb, gutter and sidewalk cannot be constructed until the first panels of the street are poured and cured. Therefore, the sidewalks in that section will have to wait at least a few weeks to be poured. We will provide more detailed information on the timing as it becomes available (we review a detailed three schedule each week at our construction meetings).
The new entrance/exit to the Post Office from Third Street has been constructed. This will be the only way to access the Post Office for some periods of the project and we will provide updated information prior to restricting access from Second Street.
The construction of the plaza and concrete street sections will require us to restrict thru traffic on Second Street for several weeks. We are awaiting a detailed plan from SRV Construction that will identify the timing and duration of the limitations on thru traffic. Local access will be maintained on the east and west ends of the project to the maximum extent possible. To start thru traffic will be only be restricted at the plaza area in front of the Firehouse and then extend outward in both directions as the concrete portions of street are constructed. We will update the public as soon as we have more detailed information, which we expect to be next week.
The landscaping for the project is being designed and installed by the Langley Main Street Association and funded by the city. Main Street has completed the landscaping plan and it will be reviewed by the design review board in April. The city very much appreciates the support from Langley Main Street in maintaining all the beautiful landscaping in downtown including city hall’s amazing edible garden.
As always if you have questions, comments or concerns do not hesitate to contact Jeff Arango, Director of Community Planning at 360.221.4246 (office), 206.456.6208 (mobile), or at email@example.com or use the comment form below. Thanks again to everyone for their patience and support during the construction process. See below for a detailed summary of the project elements and answers to frequently asked questions.
Frequently Asked Questions
Will cars be able to drive and park on Second Street?
YES. Two-way traffic will be maintained with parking on both sides of the street. The north side of the street will have parallel parking and the south side will continue to have angled parking.
What is the overall purpose of the project? Is it just a beautification project?
The project need is fundamentally based on the need to replace failing infrastructure. The street, water system and stormwater system are all being updated as part of the project. With the need to correct failing infrastructure came the opportunity to provide a better balance between vehicular and pedestrian access and mobility. Therefore, the street is being reorganized with wider sidewalks and pedestrian seating areas along with maintaining adequate parking on both sides of the street and two-way traffic. After extensive public outreach the city developed three design alternatives and selected the final design as the preferred alternative.
Why were the overhead utilities not placed underground as part of the project?
Initially during the concept design phase of the project the city decided not to proceed with under-grounding primarily over concerns that the introduction of a new street lighting system (which would be required if the utility poles were removed because they hold the street lights) would substantially impact the existing character of the street in a negative manner. We heard from people that they liked the existing “funky” character of the street and we strived to maintain that to the extent possible. The city did later in the project fully explore the option for under-grounding, but ultimately determined it was too expensive (estimate for under-grounding and street lighting was approximately $450k) and that the funds were better expended on other elements of the project.
Will there be a truck loading zone on Second Street?
YES. The city hear loud and clear the importance of keeping a loading zone on Second Street to support local businesses. The truck loading zone will be moved to in front of the US Bank and the existing curb cut for the US Bank on Second near the intersection with Anthes will be closed to accommodate a full length loading zone. This location was selected following public outreach and design analysis. The location has several advantages over the existing loading zone: it’s flat, will allow trucks to park in the direction of traffic (required by law) and provides easy ingress and egress because it is located between an alley and a street intersection.
Below are project graphics (some annotated) that explain the features of the project (click on graphic for larger image):
Overall Project Site Plan
Artist Rendering #2
Parking Wayfinding Signage