Man, what a mess! Fourth Street is closed from Jennie to Elm in Hermiston while crews dig up and replace the old sewers lines. The street work is expected to be completed by Sept. 11.

By Karen Hutchinson-Talaski

Staff writer

HERMISTON — It's that time of the year again — when road crews are tearing up the streets, causing traffic delays and drivers going down streets they probably did not know existed.

For the next couple of months, Elm Avenue and Fourth Street will be torn up and repaved. From Jennie to Elm, Fourth Street is getting a facelift, both inside and out. The surface will be laid with asphalt and the curbs at each corner will comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act standards.

Originally planned as a paving project, the city decided to take a look at the sewer line running down the street. It was time to replace the old sewer line.

Street Department Superintendent Ron Sivey says about a third of the project is the road resurfacing. The rest is all underground.

"We are giving it a new surface and getting rid of the concrete," Sivey said.

At a cost of $300,000, Hermiston City Engineer Pat Napolitano says the Fourth Street project expected to be completed by Sept. 11.

The Oregon Department of Transportation has begun another part of the Highway 207 project by tearing up the street on Elm Avenue between 1st Place and 11th Street. Excavation began earlier this week, creating some confusion for motorists trying to get to Good Shepherd Medical Center, Umatilla Electric and the Hermiston Aquatic Center.

Part of the work at 1st Place and Elm Avenue will be to upgrade the signals at the intersection. Near McDonald's on Elm and Highway 395, the asphalt has been scraped in preparation for new pavement.

Construction on Highway 207 began in March and includes reconstruction, resurfacing, major excavation in places, and reconfiguring the six-legged intersection at Elm Avenue, Diagonal, Hooker and Townsend Roads, which will be divided into two three-way intersections.

The $4.39 million project extends along Highway 207 from Hermiston at the Diagonal Road and Elm Avenue intersection, to Interstate 84.

ODOT spokesperson Tom Strandberg says the complete project, including the work on Elm Avenue, should be finished by the end of October.

Strandberg wants to remind motorists to pay attention to the traffic control people and plan for extra travel time.

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