Andrew Cutler

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High Desert Aggregate & Paving will be installing orange construction signs throughout the project starting on Monday, according to Mike Remily, a construction project manager with Oregon Department of Transportation. The right lane headed to Island City will be closed from just before Pine Street to Willow Street for sidewalk work at Pine, Cherry, Balm and Willow streets, Remily said.

No lane closures at any time will be allowed for construction activities between Aug. 18 and Aug. 22 due to the anticipated increased volumes of traffic for the eclipse.

A busy stretch of road in La Grande is about to get a makeover.

Later this month, construction crews will begin repaving the travel lanes of Island Avenue from Adams Avenue to just past Riddle Road. The project also includes the Interstate 84 on and off ramps at Exit 261.

“A seal coat will be placed on the center turn lane and the shoulders/bike lanes,” said Mike Remily, a construction project manager with Oregon Department of Transportation. “The paving work will take place at night, from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. This will periodically restrict access to local streets and businesses, when the paving operation goes through and the asphalt cools enough for traffic to run across it.”

Remily said restriping of Island Avenue and the freeway ramps will take place once paving is complete.

Craig Sipp, the ODOT
Region 5 manager in La Grande, said repaving this stretch of Island Avenue is overdue.

“I can’t remember the last time that section has been paved, but it’s been (at least) 12 to 15 years,” he said.

Sipp said the condition of the pavement “deteriorated considerably” after the harsh 2016-2017 winter.

“The winter accelerated the conditions,” he said. “We knew this pavement was at the end of its life cycle.”

In addition to the paving work, crews will be replacing and upgrading sidewalk ramps at several intersections and business accesses to meet current American with Disabilities Act requirements. Remily said this work will take place during the day and local street and business accesses will remain open.

See complete story in Friday's Observer