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Construction crews busy as summer begins

The end of the fiscal year brings a lot of construction work for the city of Ashland.

The longest and perhaps the most disruptive project is on Hersey Street, which started a few months ago with some electrical, gas and water work underground. The railroad crossing at Laurel Street and Hersey Street will be improved, and the street is being repaved. It’s estimated to be completed by the end of October, said Public Works Director Paula Brown.

Knife River Materials crews started resurfacing the road and is creating more ADA-accessible ramps this week. The whole project will cost the city $3 million.

A significant amount of slurry work is being conducted in multiple areas around town above Siskiyou Boulevard, concentrated mostly between Morton Street and Westwood Street. The company doing the work is VSS International, Inc., at a cost of $396,608.20.

Slurry projects entail putting a layer of oil and gravel on top of roads to extend the life 5 to 7 years, but the trick is that they need to dry for about 24 hours.

“We have gotten a few complaints about the roads being closed and the timing of it,” Brown said.

The slurry projects should be completed this week.

The sidewalk along North Main Street by the downtown Plaza was recently rebuilt.

Another significant project that’s underway is a sewer line replacement in the North Mountain Park soccer fields. This is the second phase of a project that was started earlier this year. It’s a couple weeks away from completion.

Brown said a lot of maintenance is being performed around town as well, such as repainting the lines in roads and replacing water lines.

“You see the crews out a lot in the summer,” Brown said. “We have crews in all kinds of places, just performing general maintenance. There’s a lot of activity at the end of the fiscal year.”

In the next few months, City Council will decide on the final design for the new water treatment plant and the proposed piping of the Ashland Canal.

The projects, if approved, would begin later this year. The water treatment plant could begin early next year, and the canal piping would begin this fall after the irrigation season ends.

“It’s actually pretty exciting because we haven’t done as much in prior years,” Brown said. “So, for our team, summer is a busy time anyway, but it’s nice to do some of these larger projects.”

Contact Tidings reporter Caitlin Fowlkes at cfowlkes@rosebudmedia.com or 541-776-4496. Follow her on Twitter @cfowlkes6.

File photo Construction of pieces of the downtown plaza has limited traffic and walking space as well as limited parking.