The City of Bishop’s Wye Road Intersection Improvement project will be nearer its final phase once the City Council approves the announcement of construction bids, thus helping to secure increased future traffic safety at the Wye Road/U.S. 6 intersection.
According to Public Works Director David Grah, consideration of opening the bids will be on the Monday, July 22 Council agenda. If approved, open bidding for the $600,000 construction job would advertised the following day. Bid deadline is Thursday, Aug. 22.
Following this timeline, Grah said, at its Monday, Aug. 26 meeting, the council would consider awarding the bid and construction would begin in late September with a completion date falling in mid-November. The construction phase of the project will widen North Main Street/U.S. 6 at Wye Road, provide dedicated left and right turn lanes and align the lanes across the intersection.
The city purchased the Los Angeles Department Water and Power property needed for the project in March 2012, Grah said, and escrow closed on the remaining needed property recently purchased from Joseph Enterprises.
So far $282,000, funded by the Kmart/Vons development, has been spent on the initial phases of the project; $140,000 of that amount went to an upfront payment to Southern California Edison for their utilities relocation. Once the SCE-drafted easements are granted to SCE by the Council, which is also a July 22 agenda item, SCE and Verizon are expected to relocate their facilities in tandem, a process estimated to take six months to complete, Grah explained in a March 21 email.
Though Statewide Integrated Traffic Record System “higher than average” statistics may not seem dire – 10 non-fatal accidents between April 2001 and March 2011 – Caltrans, the project’s majority funder, has concerns. “They are concerned about the safety statistics and, growth of traffic in the tri-valley area – Benton, Chalfant and Hamil – because of travel to and from Mammoth Lakes. It should also be said that the truck traffic on (U.S.) 6 is increasing and will continue into the long-term” since it is a route from the large distribution centers east of Reno in Story County to Los Angeles, Grah said. “Performance in the intersection will continue to degrade,” leading to greater possibility of traffic mishaps as well as potentially fatal accidents.
The Wye Road Intersection Improvement project “should improve the current traffic situations and improve them into the future,” Grah said.