Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Woodside project declared a success

Knife River spokesperson responds to critics

Express Staff Writer

A car drives over the new rolled curb installed along the sides of reconstructed areas of Woodside Boulevard in Hailey. Photo by David N. Seelig

After seven months of work, traffic delays and detours on Woodside Boulevard in southern Hailey, the 2.5-mile-long road is now fully functional for vehicles, bikes and pedestrians.

With only final seeding of landscaped areas and other minor cleaning and installation projects left, the project is scheduled for completion on Nov. 15.

The city expects to be reimbursed $3.5 million by a grant from the federal government to go toward the $5.26 million project. Federal grant guidelines required that the city include bike paths and sidewalks on both sides of the road.

Locals have commented favorably on the sidewalks and bike paths, and traffic has been moving smoothly through a new roundabout at Fox Acres Road. 

“Knife River appreciates the working relationship we’ve had with the city of Hailey and our subcontractors,” wrote project manager Rob Cunningham. “Most of all, we are grateful for the patience and cooperation of residents impacted by this seven-month project. We are pleased to have provided safe routes for pedestrians and a new driving surface for the traveling public.”

Knife River spokeswoman Pamela Link responded to several complaints to the Idaho Mountain Express raised by Hailey residents with regard to the project, such as road crews working late hours.

“Knife River was given permission by the city of Hailey to work that late (10 p.m.),” said Link. “Weather interrupted the normal schedule and had crews not worked late there would have been two more days of paving. The temperatures were too low in the morning for optimal asphalt laydown so we asked the city to work late, so we could keep on schedule. By allowing us to work late we were able to get off of the mainline roadway with the paving operation so not to impact the Monday morning commute to the elementary school.”

Some residents also questioned a decision by Knife River to tear up a strip of apparently completed and striped roadway earlier this month. 

“The section that was repaved and striped a second time was due to a section of thin asphalt,” Link said. “Knife River has strong quality control measures and we redid that area on our own with no additional cost to the city.”

Link also responded to some complaints about steep slopes from driveways onto Woodside Boulevard, saying driveway slopes were installed to design specifications, which included a 3-inch rolled curb.

“The slope of the driveway is a function of the roadway design and how it ties to the garage,” she said. “The design of the roadway dictated how the new driveway would tie in to the garage, and the design of the driveway was based off of that.”

Hailey Public Works Director Tom Hellen said a 3-inch rolled curb is a “pretty standard design.”

Link said Knife River completed the project on schedule, based on a five-day extension to Oct. 15, granted by the city in September. 

“By that date, the driving surface was usable as it was intended by the public,” she said.

Hellen said he has received no complaints about the project. He said residents with complaints can contact the city at 788-4221.

Tony Evans:

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