Road work to alter traffic near Walla Walla High School, Prospect Point

The project will rebuild portions of Reser Road and Fern Avenue.

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WALLA WALLA -- A road project that will affect traffic to two Walla Walla area schools is poised to get under way.

Walla Walla County commissioners awarded the contract for the Reser Road project Monday. The work will rebuild Reser Road between Howard Street and Fern Avenue and rebuild Fern Avenue from Carmella Street to Reser Road. Traffic to Walla Walla High School and Prospect Point Elementary School will be affected by the construction.

Culbert Construction Inc. of Pasco was the lowest of three bidders on the project with an offer of about $1.8 million. Construction is scheduled to begin Tuesday and the work on Fern Avenue is expected to be done by Aug. 22. The entire project is scheduled to be completed by October of next year, with a winter shutdown anticipated between November and next summer.

Officials said the Walla Walla High School gym parking lot and Fern Avenue parking lot will remain open during construction. Drivers should expect temporary delays when traveling to and from school and parents and students will be encouraged to leave early and use other streets for pick-up and drop-off locations when feasible. The Prospect Point school main parking lot will remain open during construction.

School officials also say the work won't affect the playground at Prospect Point.

Work will include construction of an 8-foot-wide sidewalk on the north side, a 6-foot-wide sidewalk on the south side and curb and gutter work. A new, wider bridge over Yellowhawk Creek will be built and the new road will have designated bike lanes. Four stormwater treatment swales will also be built to eliminate direct flows into Yellowhawk Creek and improve water quality.

In addition to the road work, the city of Walla Walla will also construct a new water main as part of the project from Carmella Street to Costello Place.

Andy Porter can be reached at andyporter@wwub.com or 526-8318.

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