Gower Street, from Hemlock Street to Ecola Court, has been closed for “dig-out” since Oct. 1, but after paving starts next week, the road is expected to reopen by the end of the month, according to the City of Cannon Beach.
“If rains happens as predicted, then paving would be delayed, but the road will reopen to traffic until weather allows us to pave,” said Karen La Bonte, Public Works director.
The Gower Street pavement preservation project will cost about $30,000, La Bonte said. The street design will not change.
She said the project has been complicated by what the city discovered beneath the street.
“This was a huge project simply because of what’s underground in this area of Gower,” she said. “…(T)his area was an old lumber dumping ground, so we’ve found a variety of ‘surprises’ during the dig-out.
“But the main challenge has been the huge spruce tree stumps that were left behind and paved over many years ago when that street was originally developed.
That led to air pockets as the stumps broke down and deteriorated, and caused the street to sink in certain spots.
“We’ve patched those areas, over the years, to address the sunken spots as they became evident. Years of patching has now led to the need for a complete repaving.
“We just completed the upgrade of our Pacific Force Main last year, which was a very large project that required additional digging up of the pavement on Gower in this same area.
The plan was to repave the entire street (Gower from Hemlock to Ecola Court) once that project was completed.”
ABCDE Paving won the bid to do the work, she said.
The city has “worked with all impacted businesses to ensure access to their respective entrances, and parking lots have been kept open via alternative access routes clearly marked with signage so folks know how to get to those locations,” she said.
The Gazette contacted the Surfsand Resort and the Wayfarer Restaurant and Lounge, which is managed by Martin North, for comment on business accessibility during the street closure, but was told no one would be available to speak by press time.