WASHINGTON CITY — The extensive road widening of Buena Vista Boulevard has constricted local drivers for over a month. The construction began May 4 and extends in length from Green Springs Drive to Cactus Lane.
But there’s good news for motorists: Andy Stevens, Washington City’s public works administrator, said he expects the project to end within 3-4 weeks.
“Right now it’s pretty much 50% complete,” he said. “We finished the north half of the road, we moved the traffic over and that asphalt’s complete.”
Stevens explained the construction team still needs to complete the south side of Buena Vista Boulevard and 800 feet of storm drain, gutter and curb space, which he hopes will be installed by the end of next week. The team then will pave the remaining stretch of the road the following week and wrap up the project by striping the expanded roadway.
According to Washington City’s official announcement of the construction, the project aims to help manage the flow of current and anticipated traffic in the area by widening Buena Vista Boulevard to five lanes. In the meantime, this process of alleviating traffic congestion for the future requires increasing traffic pressure now.
On top of the disruption to the normal flow of traffic, outside factors have complicated the project’s completion. Stevens said the current heatwave has affected the concrete pouring, making the concrete expand and set at increasingly high speeds. This requires the construction crews to give extra attention to the concrete.
Stevens said the largest complication has been a shortage of available cement on the market.
“They had a cement powder shortage for a while, and it put everyone behind,” he said. “All the concrete contractors are trying to catch up from when they couldn’t actually get concrete for a couple of weeks. So now it’s just hit or miss if you can get concrete or not.”
Like locals stuck in the project’s traffic, Stevens said he wants the construction to conclude as soon as possible, but he also expressed his concerns for his crew’s safety due to speeding citizens.
“Just slow down,” he said. “I know it’s frustrating going through the construction and it’s pretty narrow right now, but people are speeding.
“It’s scary if you’re out there with people traveling that close to you that fast. It’s the same in every construction zone — people should just slow down. It would make everything go better.”
Still, Stevens is optimistic about the project being completed within four weeks, significantly sooner than Washington City’s originally stated goal of the end of July.
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