Construction begins Monday on a $1.3 million multi-purpose path extension near Harris Beach State Park.
According to Dan Latham of the Oregon Department of Transportation's public information office, the existing path at the north end of Brookings from Ransom Avenue to the state park will be extended about 3,000 feet from the entrance of the campground into the park and then to the intersection of Highway 101 and Dawson Road near the lumber mill.
"We hope to eventually be able to connect this path with the (Southwestern Oregon Community College) campus," Latham said. "We believe that enhanced bike and pedestrian facilities will attract more visitors to the area, which will help the local economy and businesses that rely on tourism."
The project, contracted to Legacy Contracting, Inc., and coordinated through city and state park officials, is being done to enhance the experience of visiting Harris Beach and northern Brookings, and provide a safe walking or bike riding path to Harris Beach and downtown Brookings for people in the Dawson Road neighborhood.
And it will create a 1.4-mile-long alternative to biking or walking along the shoulder of Highway 101, thus improving the traveler's experience through this area, increasing safety for the numerous bicyclists who ride the coastal highway every summer and offering an additional amenity to visitors to Harris Beach.
Path users will be impacted by the noisy pile-driving work, and drivers will be affected by minor traffic diversions.
The pile-driving machines will be staged on a portion of a lane of Highway 101 for four weeks starting around July 9, Latham said. The lane will be closed 24/7, and a barrier will be in place. Flaggers will control traffic to alternate one-way traffic, delaying drivers about five to 10 minutes at a time.
"Since we'll be using about 150 piles to build a retaining wall for the multi-use path, we will probably be driving pile for about four weeks," Latham said. " This can be very noisy, and will take place between the hours of 8 a.m. and 6 p.m."
Construction will take place from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday, but might need to extend into weekends to meet deadlines. All work must be complete by the middle of November.
"We're trying to avoid impacting major holidays or events," Latham said. "We're starting work the day after the July 4th weekend and hope to have all lanes open the week before Labor Day.
"Unfortunately, this means we will have a lane closure on 101 during the Kite Festival (July 19 and 20), but I'm not sure how to avoid that," he added. "And unless something goes dreadfully wrong - which, unfortunately, is always a possibility in construction - most delays should be under 10 minutes."
About 250 letters have been sent to property owners in the Dawson tract on the west side of the highway, to all those who have reservations at Harris Beach State Park this summer, and construction updates will be provided through the Curry Coastal Pilot regarding the work. Residents can receive updates by email by requesting them from Dan.Latham@odot.state.or.us (subject line: "Harris Beach").