Eagle’s ‘worst street’ gets makeover
EAGLE ” Arguably, it is the worst roadway in town, so Eagle’s reconstruction of Church Street, between Second and Third streets, should be a welcome public improvement.
The project began a few weeks ago, and is slated for completion in August, said Deron Dircksen, assistant town engineer. The focus of the work is safety, with a retaining wall and sidewalks. The road also will be widened to allow two, standard-size driving lanes.
While that section of Church has always been a narrow roadway with a steep grade on the south, where it intersects with Third, the problems were exacerbated a few years ago when Church Street was extended to the Eby Creek roundabout to service The Bluffs subdivision.
With that extension, motorists discovered a new way into town that channeled them onto the narrow road that was bottlenecked even more by on-street parking. But even with its obvious deficiencies, the road became a favored route for parents driving children to Eagle Valley Elementary and Eagle Valley Middle schools.
Dircksen said the new alignment will push the street to the east, further away from the mobile home park. The road also will be higher.
Jean Gresham, a long-time Church Street resident, said she is looking forward to having the work completed.
“It’s always been a bad street, there just wasn’t as much traffic before,” she said.
Last school year, she completed her own traffic count for Church Street, and tallied 500 cars between 3 p.m. and 6 p.m.
“I don’t really think people knew how much traffic was on this street,” Gresham said.
While she is dealing with a lot of inconvenience and dust this summer, Gresham says the new road will be very nice. She complimented the town staff for working with Church Street dwellers to keep everyone informed about construction.
“One of the neighbors asked if we couldn’t just keep the street closed,” said Dircksen, noting Church Street’s residents had plainly been overrun by ever-increasing traffic in their neighborhood.
“The new road will be a faster route for the fire department and the school buses,” he said. “We started after school was out because of the traffic, and we are projected to finish before school starts.”
The work will cost $425,000.
“Long term, I think everyone thinks it’s a good project because it’s going to make everything safer,” concluded Dircksen.