The city of Williams continues to make scheduled road improvements throughout town.
Two current projects weigh heavily on the minds of in-town drivers ‹ Grand Canyon Boulevard from Edison Avenue to Morse Avenue and Cataract Lake Road at Seventh Street.
The Grand Canyon Boulevard project, financed through Arizona Department of Transportation highway user funds and the Northern Arizona Council of Governments, includes resurfacing the road and installing new curbs, gutters, and sidewalks along the boulevard and one block of Edison Avenue eastward from Grand Canyon Boulevard. The project addresses not only driving conditions and pedestrian safety, but is also a way for the city to correct drainage problems by guiding excess runoff into the ADOT canal adjacent to the Interstate 40 ramp.
Currently, about 60 percent of the sidewalks/curbs/gutters are complete. Project foreman Cisco Gabaldon, of RE Nelson Construction, estimates that the entire project should be complete on or about July 29, and says that once the sub-base for the new asphalt is laid ‹ probably by this weekend ‹ the Boulevard can be reopened for light traffic.
"We've tried to gear the project so there's minimal impact," said project engineer Randy Ryan of Arizona Engineering. "It's going to go pretty quick. Now that we've got everything going, people will start seeing real progress."
As of press time, Edison was closed from Grand Canyon Boulevard to Newton Street and the boulevard is closed from Edison to Morse. Once the paving begins, the same closures will be in place until complete.
LP's Excavating is taking care of the Cataract Lake Road/Seventh Street project, made possible through a deal with the Grand Canyon Railway who has agreed to finance the road improvements in exchange for a waiver of impact fees.
That project includes new curbs, gutters, and sidewalks, along with a slight re-aligning of Cataract Lake Road, a widening, and installation of a turn lane. In addition, new sidewalk/curb/gutter will be installed along the west side Seventh Street.
LP's owner Larry Pittenger says utilities are being installed and that crews are waiting to put in electric lines before constructing sidewalks, curbs and gutters. If all goes well, residents should see those sidewalks within the next three or four weeks and the entire project has a hopeful time span for completion of about six weeks, coinciding with the start of classes at Williams Elementary-Middle School.
Pittenger says portions of Seventh Street may have to be closed during paving. Crews will try to avoid having to do so, he said, and because of height restrictions at the Country Club Road overpass, Cataract Lake Road will remain open in some fashion during the entire length of the project.