Work to overhaul the roadway and utilities on Second Street in Langley will begin in mid-January.
Langley’s director of community planning, Jeff Arango, said the start date for the major construction project is Jan. 20. The $2.2 million project, of which about $1.4 million comes from federal and state grants, will replace the existing street and underground utility lines from Cascade to Anthes avenues.
Second Street will also become more pedestrian friendly with wider sidewalks, new and increased landscaping and a plaza that stretches across both lanes and sidewalks in front of Callahan’s Firehouse.
During construction, which is expected to last until the first week of June, at least one traffic lane and one sidewalk will be open. All storefronts will also be accessible. Arango said work will occur during normal business hours, though the city is considering a request from KPG, the firm that designed the overhaul and will oversee the project, to have construction run on four 10-hour days instead of five eight-hour days.
“There could be a benefit of doing that because there wouldn’t be construction on one day,” Arango said.
Langley planned to have a decision on the work schedule within a couple of weeks.
Arango has been in contact with business owners on Second Street regarding construction. Mona Newbauer, owner of chocolate shop Sweet Mona’s on Second Street, said she felt in-the-know about the pending work thanks to City Hall’s efforts.
“I’m excited about the project and hope that it will make Langley more accessible,” Newbauer said. “Any type of change impacts business, but I’m hoping that overall it improves business in the long run.”
Arango said he sent out an email a week ago to notify businesses of the work start date, has postcards with project information ready to go out and will update his department blog, designlangley.org, every week once construction begins.
“There’s a lot of information out there for people,” Arango said. “It’s a small community, so if people want to ask me a question they certainly can do that.”
The public works project will also double as a placemaking enterprise, an idea Arango has promoted to help the city’s attractiveness and growth. Increasing places for people to be on Second Street, such as the plaza, encourages visitors to spend more time in Langley. That translates to more time to shop and spend.
City officials had hoped to shave enough from the project’s hefty price tag to fund other works on Langley’s capital project list. Replacing the stairs at Boy and Dog Park on First Street, recently an increasing concern for city leaders, was one such project but it was not to be.
Instead, the city earmarked $15,000 for review and design of the stairs in its 2014 budget out of the General Fund.
That will give Langley leaders an idea of whether they should replace the entire staircase, which connects First Street with Seawall Park, or just make spot repairs.