Isaacs Avenue from Division to Roosevelt streets will reopen to traffic after months of construction just as the intersection at Roosevelt closes Monday.
Construction plans are shifting slightly to start the second stage of the multi-phased utility replacement and pavement project, city of Walla Walla Transportation Engineer Monte Puymon said Wednesday.
Although paving has not yet taken place on Isaacs between Division and Roosevelt, two-way traffic will be allowed through the compacted construction zone.
Drivers should continue to use caution as work continues on curbs, gutters, sidewalks, driveways and ramps that comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act, the city said.
The transition will mean that two-way traffic will be open in all directions on Isaacs, but no travel through the intersection at Roosevelt will be allowed.
Official detours will be at Clinton Street and Wilbur Avenue.
Paving from Division to Roosevelt is expected mid-October, Puymon said. The city has said paving of the intersection is expected a few weeks after that. The reopening of the intersection is expected by early November.
The original plan for the project was that work on the intersection would begin after the first stage was complete, including paving.
However, Puymon said Culbert Construction is about a week behind the original schedule. The work was thrown by unanticipated underground obstructions, Puymon said. The work has affected some paving walls at residences, largely located between Division and White streets, that have to be fixed.
But with weather changes expected, the city and Culbert want some of the key pieces to move forward in a timely manner.
“We want to make sure we get everything paved and buttoned up,” Puymon said, explaining that the scheduling issues were unanticipated and unpreventable.
As with the rest of the Isaacs construction, the intersection at Roosevelt will get new water and sewer mains. The work will replace curbs, gutters, sidewalks, pedestrian ramps and paving at the intersection.
It will also include a new traffic signal that Puymon said will change flow for the better.
The split-phased signal that currently operates there does not allow eastbound and westbound traffic to move at the same time on Isaacs. Instead, the light has a dedicated arrow that cycles through one direction at a time for those traveling Isaacs. When those two lights have cycled, drivers on Roosevelt share one green light for travel north and south at the same time.
The new light will allow movement in both directions on Isaacs and offer a flashing yellow turn signal so drivers turning can make their left, too.
“It should be a lot smoother in the end,” Puymon said.
Puymon said once the intersection and roadway are paved, temporary striping will help create lane divisions. The permanent striping will not hold immediately on the asphalt surface so a delay of several weeks will be needed. Considering the later timing in the year for paint, it’s possible the temporary striping will be needed through winter. That determination will be made later.
The $9 million road construction continues work that has taken place on other stretches of Isaacs already.
The work will provide a center turn lane with one lane in each direction, plus bicycle lanes on both sides.