By Steve Guntli
The I-5 overpass at Mitchell Avenue will close over the summer in order for the city to make some needed repairs.
The bridge will be beginning on Monday, June 20, after school lets out for the summer on June 15. The city has hired Colacurcio Brothers Contracting to do the job, which should take four to six weeks to complete.
Bill Bullock, assistant director of public works, said the opening of the next school season is a “hard deadline” for the work crews. Bullock said the work crews will also keep the heavy traffic during Blaine’s Fourth of July festivities in mind.
“Mitchell and Boblett are very busy alternative routes for us during the Fourth of July parade, so we’ll start work but we won’t excavate until after the holiday has passed,” he said.
The city will be addressing some pavement settling problems the overpass has had. Crews will excavate along either side of I-5 and pour lightweight fill near the posts, which will prevent the overpass from settling further.
The city will also be providing upgrades to pedestrian walkways to make them compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act. Wider handicap ramps will be installed at the crosswalks, and the sidewalks will be widened to accommodate bikes and pedestrians at the same time.
The city is also using the road closure to address some pedestrian access issues at Mitchell and Boblett streets.
“There’s a small dirt path that pedestrians have carved leading from Boblett to the Primary School,” Bullock said. “We’re going to pour a 10-foot-wide sidewalk there, so people aren’t struggling with strollers along that dirt path.”
Traffic will be rerouted to Peace Portal Drive, where drivers will have access to north and southbound I-5.