Wayfinding signs, improved pedestrian walkways, benches, stamped crosswalks and colorful streets.
A package of streetscape improvement projects passed earlier this year by the Centralia City Council are beginning to take shape, breathing new life onto the passageways leading into downtown while improving the walkability and safety of the city.
Centralia Public Works Director Kim Ashmore and City Engineer Patty Page debriefed the city council Tuesday night on the work, which is expected to remain ongoing in certain parts of the city through next year. The city is also still awaiting bids on a number of projects.
Improvements along Mellen Street out toward Interstate 5 will continue through mid-November, Ashmore said. Those improvements, being paid for by the state, aim to improve the sidewalks, curb ramps and make other intersection improvements as part of Washington State Department of Transportation’s Americans with Disabilities Act Transition Plan.
The intersection of Yew and Mellen streets will feature a stamped brick pattern and is expected to open to traffic Oct. 4.
Page said the city will also be focusing on pedestrian crossings and repaving crosswalks along Main Street between Yew and Pearl streets to help with pedestrian visibility.
The city is looking to include a number of other miscellaneous projects including landscaping, fences, banners, benches and trash cans with remaining funds to “bring the whole downtown toward the freeway, and vice versa,” Ashmore said. Workers have also been out painting light posts to better reflect the color and branding of the city.
“I’m hoping we’ll have some extra money. We just don’t know because of the way the bidding climate is right now. Until we get our bids and actually know what the costs are that we have out so far, we won’t know what’s left. But I’ve got lots of ideas,” Page said.
Centralia on Oct. 14 will open proposals for wayfinding and “Welcome to Centralia” signs. Ashmore said the city has proposals out to four consultants and will award that contract at the Oct. 26 council meeting. The selected company will design three welcome signs and the two freeway entrance locations using existing structures.
Another project to install medians, ADA ramps, striping and a stamped crosswalk at First Street is being planned for along Harrison Avenue, between High Street and Denny Way. Ashmore said the project will also make improvements to the intersection with Main Street, tying the roadway into downtown.
Stamped brick buffers will also be added to Tower Avenue and Pearl Street. This project is currently out to bid and will be awarded to a company at the Oct. 26 meeting.