February 16, 2017 at 11:25am
If you regularly drive across the installation between Lewis Main and McChord Field, chances are you’ll need to make a few detours in coming months as Joint Base Lewis-McChord’s Directorate of Public Works conducts a necessary, two-month closure to repair the roadway.
A portion of East Lincoln Road, between Rainier Drive and the railroad tracks just beyond the old Lincoln Gate, is scheduled to close from March 27 to May 30 for the road to be resurfaced and widened, according to Henry Egbuka, senior project manager and civil engineer with JBLM’s DPW.
Several trees also will have to be taken down to ensure a clear zone along both sides of the roadway. Those trees are already marked for identification, Egbuka said.
Reader boards and signage will be posted starting March 13 to make sure anyone who regularly travels the road will have about two weeks to be adequately prepared for the closure, according to Egbuka. Detour signs will also be in place so drivers can drive along 150th Street SW to the Logistics Gate.
“This is pretty straight forward,” he said. “You can’t miss the reader boards, and we’ll have water barrels in place (on East Lincoln Road) in case someone plows through beyond the signs once the work begins.”
Despite this, the project is expected to impact many motorists.
“We knew right off the bat it’s going to be a big impact,” Egbuka said. “There will be pain now, but (it will be) worth it when we get it done.”
This project is just one of several recent or expected road projects on the installation, determined yearly based on need.
Sallie Donahue, transportation systems manager for JBLM’s DPW, said the East Lincoln Road project was pushed forward because of the high road usage and the importance of keeping the area safe for motorists.
Roadways are graded on a scale of zero to 100, she said, adding that although the portion of the East Lincoln Road near the Unity Bridge is in great condition, there are many potholes and cracks on the portion that’s being replaced.
“Where the potholes are, it’s falling apart,” she said. “And once rain gets in the cracks, it’s just going to deteriorate worse.”
That’s why it was determined now is the time to do the work, according to Egbuka.
“Either you do it now or later, and later would be a much bigger project,” he said.
This also is the prime time of year to do the work, Egbuka said, since winter is concluding and the heat of summer will be beyond the work dates.
“We’ve got a window of opportunity, so the best time is now,” he said.
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