Pilings and beams are made on time; detours to continueSEASIDE - Construction on the 12th Avenue Bridge is coming along as planned, Public Works Director Neal Wallace reported Wednesday at the Seaside Improvement Commission meeting.

The bridge was officially shut down on Dec. 15, although crews from Concrete Enterprises in Stayton were in town several days before mobilizing equipment.

The greatest concern was that pilings and concrete beams had to be manufactured and purchased by Jan. 1 to meet city budget requirements. But the deadline was met and all pilings and beams have been manufactured, stockpiled and inspected, Wallace said.

A temporary pedestrian bridge has been installed over the Necanicum at 12th Avenue and sanitary sewer force main lines and cable television lines have been relocated from the bridge to the temporary structure.

A detour from 12th Avenue to Necanicum has been built around the northeastern corner of Goodman Park to allow residential access to the north end of the Necanicum. Although there is plenty of room for two vehicles to pass on the temporary road, drivers should proceed with caution.

"Basically, you're cutting through a construction zone when you drive on that detour, so be careful," Wallace said.

Signs on Roosevelt also indicate the bridge is closed and directs traffic to detour to the First Avenue bridge.

"So far, I've heard some comments that it is kind of a pain in the neck to run down to First, but nothing too serious," Wallace said. "Whenever you change somebody's routine, there's someone who doesn't like it. But when they get used to it, it's not a problem."

"No fishing, no crabbing" signs have been posted at either end of the bridge and will remain until construction is completed May 24. While many are not thrilled with the restriction, there have been few problems, thanks to the signs and proper forewarning. And when the bridge reopens, the new design, which includes a concrete base with tubular aluminum railing, will make it easier to fish and throw crab pots over.

Construction crews postponed work during the snow storm. They have already begun to cut holes in the existing bridge deck and will start driving piling as soon as weather allows.

The 12th Avenue bridge is the fourth of Seaside's nine bridges that have been rebuilt in the past six years. The $1.4 million project is funded by an $870,000 grant from the Oregon Department of Transportation and $530,000 from Seaside's Urban Renewal District.

Also at Wednesday's meeting, Wallace gave commissioners a year-end review of its two main projects. The undergrounding of electrical utilities along Avenue A, Columbia Street and Beach Drive, in cooperation with Pacific Power and Lights, was completed. Final cost was $70,000.

The Seaside Downtown Lighting Project also came to fruition, after years of work by local businesses and a Seaside Downtown Development Association committee. The project included all new sidewalks, light poles and fixtures, trees and irrigation. The light design reflects the nostalgic feel of downtown Seaside, especially along Broadway Drive.

"When you combine the lighting with Trendwest and all the other good things that have been happening, they sure have combined to make downtown Seaside look spectacular," Wallace said.

Final cost was $730,000.

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