Phase 2 of street widening postponed in Nevada City
After dealing with road closures and construction delays during the first stage of the project, residents and business owners in Nevada City can expect Phase 2 of its Commercial Street rehabilitation project to be held off until next year.
The project aims to create a pedestrian friendly downtown area, with efforts dating back to 2018 when the city worked with a citizens group on recommendations that led to Commercial Street becoming one-way this year.
During Phase 1, which wrapped up this month, contractors replaced underground water, sewer and storm drain pipes, which laid the ground work for the road widening, sidewalk rehabilitation and enhanced intersections to come in Phase 2.
The Nevada City Planning Commission on Thursday recommended against widening Commercial Street. The issue now proceeds to the City Council.
Both phases were initially estimated to be complete by the end of the year, but after months of delays during Phase 1 led to complaints from some businesses in the area, the next phase was pushed back. After the project was taking three times longer than expected, Nevada City Manger Catrina Olson told the City Council work would conclude this month, complete or not, and that the city would review its bidding process.
City Engineer Bryan McAlister told the council that holding off on the next phase would ensure additional construction doesn’t interfere with any businesses during the holiday season.
The construction delays during Phase 1, partly due to the poor mapping of the 150-year-old underground system, were particularly frustrating because they came just as some businesses were starting to be able to reopen.
Last week the Nevada County Transportation Commission allocated $200,000 in gas tax (Senate Bill 1) funding to the project — about half its total cost. The other half of the funding is expected to come from local Measure S funds.
According to Planning Commission staff reports, some of the work scheduled for Phase 1 will have to be completed during the next phase.
Nevada City Engineer Bryan McAlister could not be reached for comment.
To contact Staff Writer John Orona, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 530-477-4229.
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