[Note: After this story was written, but before it could be published, Mayor Durkin announced a 2-day suspension of construction beginning Thursday, April 9, so that city employees and contractors could more rigorously implement social distancing policies at their work sites. Presumably, then, there will be no work on 40th St. during that time.]
Yes, I’ve cribbed my title from the Postal Service Creed, but today I’m going to apply it to the workers of SDOT and their contractors. For the past several weeks, virus or no virus, they have been out ripping up 40th St. and the adjacent sidewalks as part of the Green Lake and Wallingford Paving and Multi-Modal Improvements project.
Prior to the stay-at-home order, I never got to see this work, which is now taking place just blocks from my home. If I wandered up to 40th in the evening after work, I would see traffic freely flowing in two lanes. As early as 5 pm, not a construction vest was to be seen. The earthmovers would all be parked neatly on the planting strip as if resting from their day’s exertions. Where the sidewalk had been dug up during the day, it was always patched up into some sort of walkable shape by the time my feet came padding over the dirty remains.
The picture is very different midday.
Vehicles moving east or west along 40th had better be prepared for single-lane traffic. Two construction workers with radios stop traffic at either end of the single-lane segments and allow cars to pass when the way is clear of oncoming vehicles. Traffic moving north and south along the side streets should watch out for closures at 39th and 41st. Pedestrians, too, may have to walk a couple of blocks east or west to find a crossing point. These closures change daily if not hourly, so we can’t be more specific here.
Check out the most recent SDOT newsletter for more information about the work going on right now.