Rogers expects 101/144 project to commence next year

by Dawn Feddersen-Poindexter

Sun Press News

This graphic (facing north) shows future lane movement at the Hwy. 101/County Rd. 144 intersection. The improvement project is expected to commence next spring and will completely overhaul the intersection.

This graphic (facing west) shows future lane movement at the Hwy. 101/County Rd. 144 intersection. The improvement project is expected to commence next spring and will completely overhaul the intersection.

The Rogers City Council received a timeline and updates on lane closures for the project at Hwy. 101 and County Rd. 144 that will completely overhaul the intersection.

Public Works Superintendent, John Seiffert, told the Council that construction will begin in the spring 2014 and should be finished by that fall.

County Rd. 144, or 142nd St., will be closed around the intersection from May 13 until May 28, 2014, which will create the largest inconvenience during the project for drivers headed to Rogers High School, Middle School, and Elementary School. Hwy. 101 will remain open.

“If we shut down 144, they can get the work done and the final project completed faster. We’ve been working with the affected businesses and they said they’d rather see a shorter impact because every month that goes by is going to effect their bottom line,” Seiffert explained.

A detour is planned for South Diamond Lake Road and 147th Street. Temporary signals will be put in place at Hwy. 101 and 147th Street, 147th Street and James Road, and County Rd. 144 and James Road and remain for the bulk of the project to help assist drivers taking alternate routes.

The intersection will be open and functional by the beginning of the 2014-15 school year but it is unclear if there will still need to be lane closures that may effect traffic.

Council member Don Hall is very familiar with the school traffic on County Rd. 144 and hopes to see the bulk of construction completed before the beginning of the school year.

“If there’s any way to provide an incentive for the contractor to get it done before school starts, I would definitely encourage you to do that because it’s going to be a mess,” he cautioned.

Seiffert said that it will definitely be an important issue that will be brought up when the contract is awarded.

During 2013, much of the behind-the-scenes work will happen on the project, including environmental monitoring, right-of-way acquisition, and the bidding process that will identify the project’s contractor.

In other matters, Police Chief Jeff Beahen received approval to promote two officers to the rank of Patrol Sergeant. He believes the move will help encourage changes within the department.

“We want our officers to be not merely report takers, but problem solvers. That’s really where we want to get this agency,” Beahen told the Council.

The Council had tabled the measure at their last meeting in order to have time to review it. But after hearing Beahen’s explanation and reading through the supporting materials he assembled, they agreed with the need for a change.

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