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City addresses Streetscape misconceptions

Editor's note: The city of Enumclaw has been fielding questions from both citizens and downtown merchants about the ongoing Streetscape project. The Courier-Herald has provided this opportunity for the city to respond to those questions and some apparent misconceptions.

Q) When the project is complete are the sidewalks going to be wooden boardwalks?

A) No. The boardwalks identified were proposed as a temporary means of access to the businesses. Maintaining access to businesses during construction has been a priority issue, which has resulted in limiting the amount of time that access is restricted to not more than two days. The boardwalk was proposed to be used if the contractor was not able to complete sidewalk replacement within the two days. The new sidewalks will be concrete and will have a design that is reminiscent of a hops pole-and-yard pattern, as hops were once a significant crop on the Enumclaw Plateau.

Q) Is it true the streets will have a cobblestone finish?

A) No, there will not be a cobblestone finish on any of the new street surfaces. Cole Street from Initial to Myrtle avenues is proposed to be a standard concrete finish, similar to the concrete street that was originally installed several decades ago. This also includes the intersection of Cole Street and Griffin Avenue. The remaining two blocks of Cole Street and the sections of Griffin Avenue will be replaced with asphalt.

Q) Why is the parking being removed downtown?

A) When the project is completed the downtown parking will essentially be the same parallel parking that existed prior to construction.

Q) Is the temporary parking configuration on Cole Street going to stay once the project is done?

A) No. While developing the Enumclaw Downtown Enhancement Action Plan, several parking configuration options were considered. At that time many merchants, residents and downtown property owners commented in support of maintaining the same parallel parking configuration that has existed in downtown for several decades.

Q) When will the project be complete?

A) Based upon the current construction schedule, the project is scheduled to be completed by the end of August.

Q) Why is the project behind schedule?

A) Primarily due to unforeseen conditions involving the wiring for the Griffin and Cole traffic signal and the need to over-excavate due to numerous wood boards found under the concrete, the project was delayed. The contractor is attempting to make up time as the weather and other conditions allow.

Q) Are the businesses still open downtown during construction?

A) Yes! Downtown businesses are open during the construction project. The only exception is when the sidewalks are being replaced in front of the businesses. Also, some businesses have back door entrances that will be used when the front sidewalk is being replaced. If you are questioning if the front entrance of your favorite merchant is unavailable, it is suggested to give them a quick call.

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