As evidenced by the bulldozers and backhoes and a swath of fallen trees, the city’s effort to widen Garth Avenue is now under way.
The road is now closed to all traffic between North Garth Court and the entrance to the Bear Creek Trail parking lot, requiring residents living north of Bear Creek to use Blue Ridge Road and Missouri 763 to access areas south of their homes. Through traffic has also been restricted between Thurman Street and North Garth Court, as well as between Caribou Drive and the Bear Creek Trail parking lot.
The closures were put into effect on May 17 and are expected to last about five months, weather permitting.
The construction is part of the city’s plan to improve Garth Avenue between Thurman Street and Blue Ridge Road, a $1.6 million project that includes widening Garth Avenue from 24 feet to 33 feet and adding an 8-foot pedestrian way and a 5-foot sidewalk. The project will also entail removing and reconstructing the bridge over Bear Creek, adding a roundabout at the intersection of Garth Avenue and Blue Ridge Road, and relocating Bear Creek Trail.
According to Larry Cannon, a project supervisor for Emery Sapp & Sons, construction is going smoothly so far.
“We probably have one more day of clearing trees along the east side of Garth Avenue,” he said. “Next week we’ll start on the bridge.”
Cannon said work on the bridge will take about two months to complete. The city has said the entire project will be finished by fall.
Donna Esse, who lives south of North Garth Court, said the road closure has not been a problem so far.
“It’s nice right now because there isn’t any traffic,” she said. “I can get in and out of my driveway without having to wait for passing cars.”
Esse also said she looks forward to the project’s completion.
“I think it’ll be real nice,” she said. “The hill won’t be as steep, and we’ll have better access to the trail.”