Weed welcomes road rehabilitation

Ron Borges
Participating in last week’s ribbon cutting celebrating the completion of the Downtown Weed Rehab project were, left to right, county supervisor Michael Kobseff, city administrator Earl Wilson, Jeanne Tuman, Chamber president Ronda Gubetta, Mayor Chuck Sutton, and Chris Cummings of Caltrans.

The torn up streets, orange cones, and slowed traffic have come to an end in Weed, and that was something worth celebrating.

City of Weed and Caltrans officials held a ribbon cutting Thursday to finalize the Downtown Weed Rehab Project.

Construction manager Chris Cummings stood in front of a small crowd on the corner of US Route 97 and State Route 265 to explain and comment on the project.

“This was a great facelift for Weed,” Cummings said to members of local governments and the Chamber of Commerce.

District 3 Supervisor Michael Kobseff extended his appreciation and called the rehab an improvement to the entire county.

All those who spoke expressed appreciation to the people and businesses of Weed for their patience and helping hands.

JF Shea vice president Ed Kernaghan said this type of project usually has its difficulties, but the people in the area helped make the work go smoothly.

Chamber of Commerce president Ronda Gubetta said, “This really soften ups the boulevard and is the beginning of something else for the community.”

The city received $7 million and it took nearly two years to complete. Cummings called it a good investment.

It is estimated by budget manager Tony Pascal that the city was under budget by half a million dollars.

Chad Ensminger, a contractor who worked on the project, claimed it was done ahead of schedule by 40 to 50 days, although some clean-up maintenance remains to be done.

The project originally started as an improvement project for the pavement along the road from College Street to the junction of Route 97.

Truck traffic had caused the pavement through the city to become worn, much of it due to wear and tear from trucks, Cummings said. 

As the plans were being drawn up, it project manager Julie Casey said it became apparent that more was needed than just street work.

Plans to improve the sidewalks, curbs, and gutters were added. The city looked to recognize the regulations of the ADA as they relate to handicap access for sidewalks.

While budgeting out the project, it became clear that it would be cheaper to completely re-do the sidewalks due to the addition of new electrical equipment and power cables.

New signal lights were added to regulate the truck traffic through  Weed.

Debbie Pedersen, the most recent project manager, was able to get an extra $250,000 in transportation enhancement funds from the Siskiyou County Local Transportation Committee to to add decorative light posts along the street, which the city wanted.

The landscaping needed to be changed because the original “T” aspect of the highway wouldn’t work with the new plans for the road, especially with the addition of the new stoplights.

Also added in the project was new landscaping in front of the Pizza Factory. The city intends to place a low profile, “Welcome to Weed” type of sign within that new area.