Photo by Ann McCreary
Newly paved streets, with new water lines beneath, are getting the finishing touches put on as a three-month-long project wraps up in Twisp.

Work is wrapping up on a $1.2 million street and water system upgrade in the northeast part of Twisp.

The “Downtown Improvement Project” began in early July, replacing 80-year-old water lines with larger pipes to improve water pressure and fire flow, and repaving streets near the town center. The water system upgrade also includes new automated “radio read” water meters for about 40 hookups.

Contractors this week were finishing installing valves and manhole covers, placing rock for pathways along some of the newly paved streets, and installing signs, said Andrew Denham, Twisp public works director.

Segments of six streets — about one-half mile total — were torn up and repaved during the project. “Even though we had some obstacles,” the project is on track to be wrapped up by an Oct. 9 completion deadline, Denham said.

One of the “obstacles” was a large concrete culvert buried beneath the pavement on Lincoln Street that surprised contractors and town officials. The culvert, “from an irrigation ditch years ago,” had to be torn out before new water pipes could be installed, Denham said.

Streets involved in the project include Second Avenue east of Glover Street, Methow Street, the lower part of Third Avenue, Twisp Avenue, Lincoln Street and North Glover Street. The town hired Varela and Associates, an engineering firm to design and manage the project, and Pipkin Construction was the contractor.

Twisp received $500,000 in grants and loans from the U.S. Department of Agricultural Rural Development program for the water line upgrade and $771,000 from the state Transportation Improvement Board for the street work.

The parking lot of the Methow Valley Community Center was also repaved as part of the project. The area to the north of the building is actually an extension of Third Avenue, but because it is used for parking, state transportation funds were not available for that work, so the town used money from Twisp’s Transportation Benefit District, Denham said.