Tony Reed
Del Norte Triplicate

Some motorists will have to adjust their commute soon as Harding Way will be closed to through traffic beginning Monday for about six weeks.

At a special Crescent City Council meeting in May, Public Works Director Eric Wier said an issue was discovered last December before the weather turned rainy and repairs on Cooper Avenue became urgent. The Harding project was declared an emergency by the council.

At the time, it was decided a metal plate would be used to cover the sunken area of Harding, which could be lifted occasionally to check the sinking surface.

“The sewer manhole that’s adjacent to the storm drain, which is directly affected by some of the settling of the storm drain, is starting to really show signs of settlement,” said Wier.

He said the best solution would be to remove and replace the storm drain and manhole. He said a logistical problem exists because there are also water and sewer pressure mains in the area crews will have to get out of the way first.

“Approximately 350,000 gallons of sewage flows through this pressure main every day,” Wier told the council, noting the pipe is made of asbestos concrete that was made and regularly used in the 1970s.

Interim City Manager Michael Young said at the time the project would be best handled by the city since the bypassing of sewer lines needs to be done under city control. He said if a contractor were to make a mistake in bypassing the sewer pressure main, the project could go from an emergency to a disaster, so it has to be done correctly.

It was decided at the time the project would be held until school lets out, so as not to cause traffic issues in the area.

Wier said Friday the project will be similar but a bit smaller than the work that was done on Cooper Avenue over the winter.

Crews will dig down to the sewer main, bypass it, replace the storm drain, refill and pave over the area.

He said the project is estimated to take four to six weeks, weather permitting, and pedestrian improvements will be added once paving is complete. The Del Norte Local Transportation Commission approved $165,000 for the project.

Another project

Wier said another project will come before city council for approval, which will improve access to the beach area at Howe Drive and Stamps Way. The California Coastal Conservancy provided $125,000 for the project, which was matched by $125,000 from the Del Norte Local Transportation Commission, said Wier. Rotary Club kicked in another $5,000 for tables and amenities.

If approved Monday by city council, public works will be adding a parking area and steps down to the beach.

“Currently, there really isn’t safe access to the beach,” Wier said.

Plans are to start the project mid-July and finish by the end of September.

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