Work begins next week on 5-way intersection

Demolishing old gas station first visible step

An ambitious project that includes rebuilding a creek culvert, placing utilities underground and creating a traffic roundabout begins next week.

The “Healdsburg Avenue Improvements” project is expected to last until the fall of 2017.

A “Notice to Proceed” was issued Monday by the city of Healdsburg to GHD, the contractor building the project. GHD has 451 days to complete the $11 million project, which will involve completely redoing the five-way intersection of Mill Street, Vine Street and Healdsburg Avenue.

The first work residents are likely to see is the demolition of the dilapidated gas station at Mill and Vine. Foss Creek runs underneath the building and a century-old wooden culvert has to be removed and replaced before the next rainy season.

In addition, all nearby utility poles will be removed and the utilities placed underground.

Drainage through the area will also be redone, as well as water supply lines.

In an effort to improve traffic flow and pedestrian safety, new sidewalks will be installed in the area, Healdsburg Avenue south of the intersection will be narrowed to two lanes and a single lane traffic roundabout – the most visible part of the project – will be installed.

A website has been established to inform residents about the project. www.healdsburgaveimprovements.com will be updated regularly and a hotline – 707-540-9964 – has been set up to field questions about the work.

The city has pledged to work with adjacent businesses during the project, to keep traffic flowing and minimize disruption.

An open house to educate the community more about the project is planned for this summer, but no date has been set.