Pullman City Council has decided to push back the major downtown project to reconstruct Main Street to next year.
Councilmembers made the decision at the end of their meeting Tuesday night after discussing the issue behind closed doors in an executive session. Council voted to put the contract out to bid this fall and start the work in April of next year. The delay should allow the project to be completed before the start of the Washington State University 2024 football season. Officials are also hoping that the city will get more competitive bids for the work.
The move comes after a previous plan that the council proceeded with two weeks ago which called for the project to take place this summer. The initial plan had the project going out to bid this month with work starting in mid-May. That timeline called for the project to run through October.
The downtown Pullman project will completely rebuild Main. The work will build wider sidewalks, install new trees and replace the Downtown Walk of Fame with a monument in the Pine Street Plaza. The project will also reduce traffic on Main from three lanes down to two lanes between Paradise and Kamiaken Streets. During construction, Main will be closed to traffic which will be detoured onto Paradise Street in both directions. The primary alternate route away from downtown to avoid the detour will be Bishop Boulevard. The city will be repaving Bishop this summer. Pushing the project to 2024 will alleviate any potential conflicts with the Bishop paving work.
The engineering consultant firm hired to design the project believes the work will cost about 8 million dollars. The city plans to use 6.9 million dollars in federal government coronavirus relief funds to pay for the work.