With any kind of luck, North Albany commuters should find the going much smoother on Gibson Hill Road by the end of summer 2022.
Even though it has been inside the city limits since the annexation by Albany in June 1991, Gibson Hill remains a Benton County road. The city of Albany has agreed to assume jurisdiction, but first the county has to improve the road.
The county had planned to get the road project done a year or two ago but lacked sufficient funds. Now, though, the project is definitely on for this year.
Benton County Public Works has called for bids to rebuild Gibson Hill, which extends for about 1.2 miles from Scenic Drive to the roundabout on North Albany Road. Bids are due April 26.
The county calls it the “Gibson Hill sidewalk infill and pavement restoration project.” The engineering estimate puts the likely cost at between $950,000 and $1.2 million.
The project includes several sections of sidewalk on the north side of the road, along with associated ramps to comply with the disabilities law.
County Engineer Laurel Byer says the construction is to be done during the summer and completed by the time school resumes at summer’s end.
Details won’ be known until a contract is let, but she expects there will be no need to completely close Gibson Hill during construction. Instead, she thinks it will be possible to keep one lane open with traffic controlled by flaggers.
No doubt there will be traffic delays. But when you sit there waiting for the flagger, think of how nice it will be not to be dodging potholes later on. (hh)