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Lincoln Boulevard improvements continue

Hiatus on construction at end of June, will resume in October
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BY STEVE ARCHER

OF THE LINCOLN NEWS MESSENGER

A second phase of the Lincoln Boulevard make-over from McBean Park Drive to First Street is expected to go on hiatus at the end of June and resume in October, according to project manager Araceli Cazarez, a city of Lincoln associate civil engineer.

“New sidewalks and concrete construction work on the west side of Lincoln Boulevard, up to Second Street, will be buttoned up by the end of June,” Cazarez said Wednesday. “The contractors are expected back by mid to late October to finish up the project, when the new traffic sign poles come in.”

“The schedule is predicated on the arrival of the new poles,” Cazarez added. “The order was placed last week and the manufacturer said it will take 20 weeks.”

Traffic signal poles, new street signs, curb ramps and clay tile banding will be installed in October, according to Cazarez. Road micro-surfacing, road-striping and signage will follow.

There has been only one surprise during Phase II, aside from 30 inches of asphalt, according to Cazarez.

“There was water service to one of the gas stations, Chevron, that we were not aware of,” Cazarez said. “We found 300 feet of pipe connecting to the water system at McBean Park. It was unexpected, unanticipated and we hope to have it corrected and up to city standards soon.”

The water connection is expected to be corrected by the end of June.

“The configuration was like something from a Dr. Seuss book,” Cazarez said. “The patience of the businesses has been great. We have had minimal complaints.”

Dan Mount of Four Leaf construction management said the project is going well. Mount shared Cazarez’ assessment of the unexpected water line, calling it “unique.”

“I came from the city of West Sacramento and, working on Highway 40, saw similar circumstances,” Mount said. “The older infrastructure can be challenging. In 30 years, I’ve never seen a water connection like that. It’s old copper so it’s probably from the 1940s.”

Walmart Neighborhood Market store manager Don Kolstrup said the construction has not affected business at his store.

“Our customer count has not been affected. The only thing I notice is the noise,” Kolstrup said Wednesday. “The only effect on me is it’s harder to get to McDonalds.”

Kristy Schmidt, Mr. Pickle’s sandwich shop manager, said the Lincoln Boulevard work has increased business.

“Business is fine. The work hasn’t had any effect except to bring in more construction workers,” Schmidt said. “It slowed the high schoolers but they just started coming in after school instead of at lunch time.”

Phase III, which is a year to 18 months out, will include reconfiguring the city’s five railroad crossings, according to Cazarez.

“Phase III is waiting on Union Pacific Railroad agreements to be signed and CalTrans authorization,” Cazarez said. “The design for Phase III is 65 percent in place.”

Phase IV, which includes Lincoln Boulevard at the intersection of First Street and at the intersection of Seventh Street, is several years out, according to Cazarez.