By Laurelle Walsh
After several years of anticipation by Winthrop residents, the Bluff Street construction project is scheduled to start on May 4.
Wenatchee firm Hurst Construction was awarded the contract with the Town of Winthrop. Sixty working days in the construction contract puts the completion date on July 24, or earlier, according to Public Works Superintendent Rick Karro.
Construction will extend from the intersection of Bluff and Bridge streets to the town limits just past Cy’s Alley where East Chewuch Road begins.
“The first week will be mostly site prep [such as] stormwater control, and equipment staging, so it shouldn’t be too bad,” Karro said. “They won’t start tearing up the road that first week so it should be OK for ’49ers parade traffic.”
The road will be widened to two 11-foot-wide lanes with a 5-foot fog line/bike lane on either side. A 5-foot-wide sidewalk will run the entire length of the road on the south side.
Retaining walls will be installed where the road cuts into the hillside, especially on the upper end near the town limits, Karro said.
One of the first stages of the project will be to cut the roadbed down to sub-grade in order to install a new waterline and storm drainage. “Quite a bit of infrastructure is going in under the road,” Karro said. “The utilities will be the first thing to go in.”
No obvious detour exists for residents of East Chewuch Road who are accustomed to taking Bluff Street through town on their way to further destinations up and down the Methow Valley.
Drivers should expect flagger-controlled delays of up to 20 minutes, Karro said. “All traffic will have to be stopped at times. It’s just something we’ll have to expect,” he said.
Hurst Construction plans to work four 10-hour days per week, Monday–Thursday from 7 a.m.–5 p.m. Bluff Street will be open to traffic after hours and on weekends.
Washington State Parks has posted a notification about the road construction on its Pearrygin Lake State Park page, www.parks.wa.gov/563/Pearrygin-Lake, for travelers coming to Pearrygin. (Click on “Alert Center” to read the full text.)
A suggested detour for those driving to Pearrygin from the west is to turn left onto West Chewuch Road just past the ball field as you drive into Winthrop, according to Area Manager Rick Lewis. Drive north up the Chewuch about six miles to the bridge, cross the bridge and then head south on East Chewuch Road about five miles to Bear Creek Road. Approximate travel time is 20 minutes.
People with questions or concerns about the upcoming construction may call Rick Karro at (509) 341-4130 or Winthrop Town Hall at 996-2320.