With three separate projects going on at the same time, driving on East Washington lately feels like maneuvering through an obstacle course.
On July 9, crews began work to replace two old water mains with a larger one near the Whole Foods. The 75-year-old water main has had numerous breaks, which are costly and disruptive to fix, said Larry Zimmer, capital improvements engineer for the city’s Department of Public Works.
This project will replace the water main from the Petaluma River to McDowell Boulevard and work will continue until November. (I can hear the groans already).
Then there is the Target project that over the past several weeks has blocked off an eastbound lane between Ellis Street and the East Washington Street overpass to put in a sidewalk. The shopping center is scheduled to open next summer.
And once you’ve passed the crews putting in the sidewalk, you’ll likely see other construction workers putting in the new highway interchange. That work will allow cars traveling from east of the overpass to enter the freeway without making a left turn to go northbound. It will also make the southbound onramp straighter.
Work is estimated to be completed by June 2014.
All of which means that gridlock will be the name of the game for months to come. So put on some good tunes and arm yourself with some patience. It may be a while before you get to the other side of town.
What do you think of the ongoing projects along East Washington? Necessary and needed in Petaluma? Annoying? Sound off in the comments below.