Underpass project vital for the city

More than usual, we’ll be praying for continued sunny weather after listening to those in charge of the Sixth Street underpass project.

Project manager James Brewer said the project has already had 33 days of weather delays, and further delays could jeopardize access during the upcoming winter months.

The plan is still to have the underpass open to traffic by winter, at least until spring when the second phase of work on the $4.9 million project will begin. Continued sunny and warm weather means crews can continue with concrete work, which gets difficult when temps dip under 40 degrees. Work at the site has progressed slower than anticipated because of soil conditions and wet weather during the summer.

Getting the underpass open to traffic again for the winter months would be a welcome accomplishment. City officials said the underpass handles more than 9,200 vehicles a day. Not having access to the underpass this summer redirected vehicles to a number of different routes, part of a traffic flow that at times created challenging situations, to say the least.

We’ll be glad when the underpass is open again to traffic, even though we know it will close again for a time next spring and summer when a new, larger pump station will be installed to help alleviate the flooding problems that have plagued the underpass for years.

Here’s to sunny weather.