One of Havasu’s busiest roads will soon be under construction. Here’s what drivers need to know
Construction on Lake Havasu Avenue between Mesquite Avenue and Swanson Avenue is set to start in about a week.
The project will last between five and six months and will add a median along Lake Havasu Avenue, restricting left turns not at the intersections. The contractor will also replace the water and sewer main and install new traffic lights at the two intersections. The project is expected to be completed by Memorial Day weekend.
What to expect during construction
The contractor, CS Legacy, will start bringing equipment and workers this week, and posting signage. Lake Havasu Avenue will be restricted to two lanes during construction. The contractor will place signs indicating business access entrances during construction.
“We’ll have business access signs with arrows to make sure every business is accessible from one end of the project to the other,” said Greg Froslie, Lake Havasu City engineer.
As the project progresses, traffic control will shift from one side of the road to the other. During the six-month project, the entire two-block stretch will be under construction. Traffic control will be similar to that of the current Lake Havasu Avenue construction project between Industrial Boulevard and Palo Verde Boulevard.
Finding alternate routes
Because the road won’t be entirely closed down, there are no set detours during construction. However, Froslie advises people to use alternate routes when possible to reduce congestion and frustration.
“If you don’t need to be on that street, try to find an alternative route for the next five to six months,” Froslie said “This will lessen the congestion through the construction project.”
Given that McCulloch Boulevard is at the center of the project and is the only way on and off the island, Froslie suggested people use other roads to get onto McCulloch Boulevard instead of taking Lake Havasu Avenue.
Project to cost $3.8 million
Lake Havasu City Council awarded California-based CS Legacy Construction the construction bid for $3.6 million at its November 13 meeting.
The council also approved an almost $160,000 contract with Civil & Environmental Consultants, Inc. for construction management services, or to oversee the project’s construction. The city will also pay $50,000 to Econolite Control Products for traffic signal equipment.
The city is using capital improvement project funds to pay for the project.
Once the project is completed, left turns will only be allowed at intersections. Froslie said he’s not sure whether U-turns will be allowed at intersections once the median is in, but he advised drivers to plan to turn right into the business they’re trying to get to.
Even if U-turns are allowed, a lot of RVs and trucks hauling boats will find it near impossible to make a U-turn at the intersections. Business owners and managers who attended an informational meeting earlier this month said they expect to see business dwindle both during construction and after the project is completed.
Why add a median?
The driver behind this project is safety. In the last five years, the city recorded 86 accidents along the two-block stretch where they’re adding medians. An average of 14,000 vehicles drive along the corridor daily.
Though it’s illegal to use the center lane for left turns because it’s marked with solid yellow lines, people often use it to get to businesses along the corridor.