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Avenue A project draws concerns
Residents living or working in the area of Avenue A between 8th and 16th streets are concerned about how upcoming roadway construction will affect their everyday routines.
During a public information meeting hosted by the city of Yuma Thursday evening, residents asked about accessibility issues and how their water services would be affected.
During construction of the nearly $1.3 million project, about 24,800 square yards of asphaltic concrete pavement and other materials will be removed and replaced. It has been about 30 years since the current roadway was laid.
Workers will clear all existing materials down to a dirt foundation, and then lay four inches of aggregate base (a crushed up mixture of rocks) as a sub-layer. They will then add another 8 inches of asphaltic concrete pavement on top to complete the roadway, city officials said.
In addition, all water service lines along that segment of Avenue A will be replaced, the minor water distribution lines improved and several fire hydrants switched out.
This means residents along Avenue A will have their water shut off for several hours at a time on dates when the construction crews are replacing the lines. Residents will be informed of the shut-offs well in advance, city officials said.
Some of the sidewalk concrete running parallel to the road will also be replaced, but only in areas where handicap access needs to be improved or where portions of concrete have shifted and created a tripping hazard.
The size of the stormwater line across Avenue A at 13th Place will also be increased.
No new taxes will be levied on area residents as a result of the improvement, city officials said.
Construction will begin Oct. 1 and be carried out in four phases. Each phase is expected to last four to six weeks.
Some areas will take longer to complete than others due to the presence of more underground utilities, said Xanthi Panos, city of Yuma Capital Improvement Program manager.
Phase 1 is from 8th Street to 10th Street, Phase 2 from 10th Street to 12th Street, Phase 3 from 12th Street to 13th Street and Phase 4 from 13th Street to 16th Street. The construction will be done during daylight hours.
During each phase, a different portion of Avenue A will be closed to through traffic, and the intersections at each end of the zone closed. Motorists are encouraged to use either 4th Avenue or 14th Avenue instead during the construction.
The road closures mean residents living on Avenue A from 8th Street to 12th Street, where homes face Avenue A, will not be able to access their residences from the roadway during construction.
“When they pave, they don't want you to go on the wet asphalt,” Panos said. “The whole entire area will be closed.”
Instead, the city of Yuma encourages affected residents to access their homes using their alleyways.
If residents do not have alley access allowing them to park their vehicles in their backyards, they will need to park on nearby surface streets until the current phase of construction is completed.
The city is working with contractor DPE Construction to minimize the inconvenience to parents who pick up their children at O.C. Johnson School during Phase 3, during which time the intersections at 12th and 13th streets will be closed. The entrance of the school is located near the corner of 12th Street and Avenue A.
DPE plans to begin Phase 3 by Dec. 17, which is the beginning of winter break for students at the school. This is to ensure most of the construction will be completed by the time students return on Jan. 4. The entire project is expected to be completed by the end of January.
For more information, call the city of Yuma Engineering Department at 373-4520.
Chris McDaniel can be reached at email@example.com or 539-6849.