On Friday, I received a mail from the city's project manager of the Main Street Construction project. The WSDOT has approved their plans for putting in the proposed concrete crosswalks.
One of the possibilities (proposols) is to do the work starting the night of May 31st and keep the Main Street (Highway 203) closed for up to 3 days. While I understand it, I can't say I'm all that happy about the concept. As an owner of a business in the area (www.duvalllaundry.com), the idea that customers will be virtually unable to get to me for 3 days is very disturbing. I'm sure its more disturbing for other businesses, some of which might as well be closed during that period. I suspect it may be the last straw for a few more businesses... just like the overall project was the last straw for others earlier in the year.
I know quite a few local residents would prefer to have the road closed for a short period and avoid traffic delays of several weeks that would be the alternative option. But, I don't think they understand the stresses on small businesses in these financial times... and local businesses are already stressed by the constuction going on, on top of the overall market malais.
Anyway, enough grousing. I don't know if you've heard, but SBA has a new loan program designed to help with the current economy, its called an ARC loan and is designed for ‘financially stressed' businesses: http://www.sba.gov/recovery/arcloanprogram/index.html I don't know who the local lenders are, but I'd expect them to be BofA and maybe Frontier, and possibly Wells Fargo.
If you need help, check with your bank or call the local SBA office. (In fact, I'll do that Tuesday and see what I can find out, and post it here.)
For the latest updates from the City on the construction project check: http://duvallwa.gov/mainstreet_08/index_mainst.html
Here is the text of the mail from the project planner:
We received some big news from WSDOT late yesterday afternoon. WSDOT has approved a closure of Main Street for the installation of the concrete crosswalks. TSI is interested in installing these ASAP and are scheduling the crosswalk work to begin on the night of Sunday the 31st of May. The plan is for crews to come in Sunday night and work throughout the night preparing the crosswalks to be poured. The pours would begin first thing Monday morning. After the pours the road would remain closed for at least 24 hours after the last pour or as soon as the strength tests say it is OK. We anticipate the closure could last into sometime Wednesday. Every effort will be made to re-open the road at the earliest practicable time. An informational flyer will be sent out early next week to everyone in the 98019 zip code which will include detour maps. I've attached one of these flyers so all of you will have the information beforehand. There is always a possibility of a delay due to something unforeseen. IF there is a delay, TSI would likely begin the work
The Sunday evening after Duvall Days, which is the 7th of June. I will try and keep everyone posted as things develop and we get closer. Let's hope all goes well. Have a great weekend!
For those of you that do shop and eat downtown, you should be able to get to your favorite businesses. Side streets and sidewalks will be open. You may just need to walk a little bit.
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