The first phase of the 11th street CSO sewer project is on hold temporarily after the crew digging up the 8th and Commercial street intersection discovered historic trolley rails under the asphalt according to an update from the city Tuesday morning. City Engineer Cindy Moore writes:
"Shortly after work started at the intersection of 8th St and Commercial in downtown Astoria, excavation work uncovered unexpected historic trolley tracks. Now that the historic trolley tracks have been discovered, according to Oregon State law the State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) becomes involved and construction at the intersection is now temporarily on hold.
During the preliminary research efforts for the 11th St CSO Separation project, historic documents suggested that the trolley tracks had been removed in the area of 8th St and Commercial during major reconstruction in the 1920s. Since this is obviously not the case, the City of Astoria Public Works Department has immediately engaged an archaeologist to document this historic finding as per SHPO requirements. The archeologist's's report will be submitted to SHPO for a final determination of the historic value and how to proceed with construction at this site. The City has requested an expedited review of this report by SHPO. This process is anticipated to take 1-2 days. Until a determination is made by SHPO, no construction work can take place within 100 feet of the historic trolley tracks."
As to the overall progress on the project Moore says "Construction began on Monday at the 8th St and Commercial intersection and this closure is expected to last approximately 3 weeks. Towards the end of this week, construction may also begin on 10th Street around the area of Duane and Exchange. The start of construction on 10th Street will depend on the progress of work at the 8th and Commercial intersection.The project website can be accessed via this link: http://projects.astoria.or.us/ "