While it may seem like the Johnson Drive rehabilitation project has been going on for a long time, some early portions of the project have been completed in record time. And, the city is already looking ahead to the post-construction era by appointing a task force to consider parking regulations.
“We’re off to a good start and we hope we keep that momentum going,” said John Belger, Mission’s Director of Public Works. “It’s a huge project.” Putting the new storm water interceptor under the south side of the street was completed in 30 days while the contract called for it to be completed in no more than 80 days. Crews worked around the clock, Belger said.
Even with that progress, it is too early to predict an early finish to the project, Belger said. It is now scheduled for completion by November. If all goes well, he said, Johnson Drive will not need to be closed again during the construction.
Looking ahead to the day when traffic returns to normal, Mayor Steve Schowengerdt has appointed a city task force that will look at parking regulation and enforcement. Schowengerdt appointed councilor Dave Shepard, his April election opponent, to chair the group. New councilor Arcie Rothrock will be a member along with Bob Hartman representing the businesses.
Shepard said the goal is to bring stakeholders together in an open dialogue to come up with a recommendation. That could include an agreement on owner and employee parking as opposed to customer parking.
Crews have now started the grading process on the south side of the street at the east end of the project. Belger said curb, gutter and sidewalks would be done in that area first so businesses would not be bothered again later by more construction. Even during sidewalk installation, access is to be open to every business during operating hours. Parking areas will be concrete rather than asphalt, he said.
No traffic signal is planned for the Woodson intersection as part of the project, but a flashing pedestrian crosswalk signal will be installed. The crosswalk signs in the middle of the street will be removed.