The section of Queen Avenue from Pacific Boulevard to Ferry Street, and across four railroad tracks, will likely remain closed through November.
That’s the word from Albany City Manager Peter Troedsson, who gave an update on the road closure in his weekly report to the city council Friday.
Queen east of Pacific (or Highway 99E) has been closed since the second week of September for construction of a new water line. The contractor is K&E Excavating of Salem, which during the summer rebuilt Queen Avenue from Pacific west to the city limit.
K&E also is the main contractor for the Albany Waterfront Project, the biggest part of which is rebuilding Monteith Riverpark. That work is expected to be finished next year.
Here’s what Troedsson told the council about the extended closure of Queen across the railroad tracks:
‘The water line is being extended under the rail crossing located between 99E and Ferry St using the jack and bore construction method since we cannot trench across the railroad tracks. (The jack and bore is a trenchless utility installation method used when the utility needs to be installed across a roadway or railway that cannot be shut down and the normal open cut trench installation method cannot be used.) Two railroads operate on this railroad crossing, Union Pacific and Portland & Western. Each railroad requires their own separate permits, and each railroad requires that their own railroad flaggers be on site while the jack and bore construction is taking place. K&E Excavating has had a difficult time coordinating a schedule where the two different railroad flagging crews can be onsite at the same time, resulting in the delay to the work schedule and an extension of the road closure. The jack and bore is scheduled to start on November 13, and based on the current schedule from Union Pacific and Portland and Western, we anticipate opening the road by the end of November.”
People can get through the closed section on bikes and on foot. For vehicles, there’s a detour in both directions, of course.
The upside of the closure and the detour is that now, motorists don’t face long waits at the crossing when the Portland & Western builds trains in the Albany yard. (hh)