On Powell Street,
tired of semis
MONROE — Due to worn out pavement and drainage issues, the city plans to rebuild the portion of Powell Street between S. Kelsey Street and S. Sams Street next year.
In addition, the city proposes to add a sidewalk to the north side of the road. According to Deputy City Engineer Scott Peterson, a sidewalk is the main point of concern among residents living on the north side of Powell.
The city will be holding another public meeting either later this month or in December to discuss more about the concept design.
Some residents want to place attention to traffic concerns on the neighborhood street.
“The scope of the project or the intent of the project is somewhat shifting,” Peterson said. “It was about a degraded road surface, and (now) there’s a little bit about ‘what can we do with traffic in the neighborhood?’”
A Powell Street resident brought the issue of truck traffic to the city’s attention during the Oct. 26 City Council meeting.
“We have semis going up and down our street in the mornings and in the afternoons,” said Lori Ring during the public comments portion of the meeting.
The city is now working with the state Department of Transportation (WSDOT) to address the issue, Peterson said. Signage would be installed on SR203 to direct truck traffic to an approved truck route, allowing police to issue fines for violations.
“The signs have been ordered,” Peterson said. “We’re just taking care of the final details with WSDOT.”
The undesired traffic is commuters and semi trucks avoiding congestion on state Route 203 (Lewis Street). Instead of staying on SR-203, Ring explained, trucks are turning onto Sumac and using side streets, including Powell, to make their way to U.S. 2.
“It’s like a freeway every night. And they’re ruining the roads, and the noise is horrendous, and it’s ruining our quality of life,” Ring said Oct. 26.
The Powell reconstruction project is expected to begin next year sometime during the drier months of May through September. It is expected to take at least two months of active work.
The discussions on Powell Street includes the intersection at Sams Street, where there is a slight jog on Powell to continue traveling east or west on the road.
Monroe has considered whether to close the intersection to through-way traffic on Powell at Sams Street as one design option. That idea would have drivers turn onto Sams from whichever direction they are heading: Drivers from the west would turn to head north onto Sams; drivers from the east would turn to head south onto Sams, according to a design map for Alternative No. 3.
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