Rainier city officials have announced that the $12.2 million Rainier A Street Improvement Project is in high gear this week. On Tuesday, Aug. 13, work on relocation of the rail line and replacement of a storm drainage line was scheduled.
Crews will be cutting and removing sections of the existing street pavement between East 2nd and West 2nd to replace the storm water line on the south side of A Street.
Rainier Public Works Director Sue Lawrence said the rail line will be moved.
“It’s moving eight feet to the south from where it is right now – the railroad’s realigning it,” she said. “We’re redoing all of A Street.”
The crews will then move to the north side of the street to work on a water line tie-in.
On Thursday, Aug.15, crews are set to begin working between East 2nd and East 4th to remove and replace rail lines. That work is scheduled to continue through Monday, Aug. 19.
Lawrence said the improvement project will cover all of A Street.
“They’re rebuilding a significant portion of the roadway and sidewalks and everything down through A Street,” she said.
The street is an eight-block section of downtown Rainier that includes an active rail line bisecting the city’s main street and operates closely with vehicle traffic, pedestrians and bicycles creating a variety of safety hazards.
“Safety is our number one concern down there,” Rainier Mayor Jerry Cole said in an interview with the Chronicle in late June.
“With cars, trucks, pedestrians and trains coming together in Rainier, there are conflicts and people could be hurt or killed when that occurs,” Oregon Department of Transportation spokesman Lou Torres said. “The broad expanse of asphalt on B Street and presence of trains is a dangerous situation.”
The planned safety
• Realigning the rail tracks, including “day-lighting” the tracks to eliminate the asphalt road surface over the track and exposing the railroad ties and aggregate base.
• Constructing curb and gutter to physically separate the rail line from all other modes of travel.
• Improving railroad safety by adding new crossing gates.
• Constructing Americans with Disabilities (ADA) compliant sidewalks, adding filtered storm water collection for the roadway and railroad, new street lighting and upgrading city utilities.
Ongoing construction on A Street may mean traffic delays, limited available parking spaces, and a need for caution in the area with workers and equipment moving throughout the area. Flaggers will be on duty to help safely move traffic and pedestrians through the construction area.
There will be access to businesses, residences, and other facilities throughout the construction, but city officials advised drivers to be prepared for delays and congestion associated with the project.
To learn more about the project, visit the web site at https://www.oregon.gov/odot/projects/pages/project-details.aspx?project=19462.