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Businesses wary of road work in Marysville
Work will begin in June with electrical and drainage. Utilities are at work now on replacing lines.
2013: Completing electrical and drainage work, upgrading curbs, ramps and sidewalks to comply with Americans with Disabilities Act.
2014: Repaving on the highways, between F Street and Buchanan Street on Highway 20 and Sixth Street and 16th Street on Highway 70. Work will include closing lanes for several hours and detouring traffic to nearby streets.
Cost: $45.1 million, out of State Highway Operation and Protection Program funds.
Nighttime drivers on Marysville's two highways are already seeing the first stages of one of the largest roadway projects in the city's history.
Though the work now is just utility line replacement, by summer Caltrans will have embarked on a three-year, $45.1 million project to repave much of Highways 70 and 20 in Marysville, along with the medians, sidewalks, curbs and gutters on those thoroughfares.
Gilbert Mohtes-Chan, a spokesman for Caltrans' Marysville office, said business owners, drivers and city officials will get plenty of warning before the biggest work begins in two years, when lanes of the highways at the city's core will be shut down for several hours, mostly at night but sometimes possibly during the day.
To stop bottlenecks, Caltrans will designate detour routes on other streets during the major repaving, which should be wrapped up by the end of 2014.
"We're going to be reaching out and making sure to work with local officials and let them know the details, so people can plan ahead," said Mohtes-Chan. And when the work's done, he added, the result should be a smoother, better ride for those driving on 70 and 20.
The prospect of closed streets, though, had some business owners along 70 and 20 worried how the project will affect their sales.
On Highway 70 just west of where the work will be, Samuel Thompson owns two restaurants on opposite sides of the highway, Porky's Hot Dogs & BBQ Ribs and the 10th Street Diner.
"If they disrupt business, Caltrans should look at compensating the businesses," he said, adding he estimates 40 percent of his sales come as a result of being visible to highway drivers. "We'll be directly affected."
And on Highway 70 in Marysville, Melinda Mogheli of Mogheli's Furniture said she hopes the work is confined to night as much as possible.
"Not during business hours," she said. "With the economy being bad, that there's going to be closures ... That's scary."
Work will be on Highway 20 between F and Buchanan streets, and on Highway 70 between Sixth and 16th streets, though Mohtes-Chan said Caltrans still needs to get the funding OK for some work.
This year, most of the visible activity will be prep work, focusing on drainage, for example.
Next year, the work will move to upgrading drainage, curbs and sidewalks, with a particular focus on making them compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act, he said. Work this year and next will be at night, he added.
In the last year, contractors will repave the highways, which will require closing lanes. Mohtes-Chan said Caltrans gave utility companies the opportunity to replace lines now to avoid having to tear up the roads after they're newly paved.
CONTACT Ben van der Meer at firstname.lastname@example.org or 749-4786. Find him on Facebook at /ADbvandermeer or on Twitter at @ADbvandermeer.