The two streets will soon look like Pine and Main streets with concrete replacing asphalt

by: RAY PITZ - The asphalt roadway on Railroad Street (shown here) will soon be replaced with the more durable concrete. Also, the current sidewalks on the business side of the street will be expanded to 16 feet wide, making them more pedestrian friendly.The city is moving ahead with a major $3 million project to repave and renovate two major Old Town streets.

Plans are underway to repave Railroad Street from Pine to Main streets and Washington Street from Railroad to First streets using concrete to replace the existing asphalt roadways.

While asphalt has a life expectancy of about 25 years, concrete lasts three times that amount, according to Bob Galati, Sherwood city engineer.

The renovation will include installing 16-foot-wide sidewalks on the business side of Railroad Street, allowing for a more European paseo, promenade look designed to make them more pedestrian friendly.

At the same time, 12-foot-wide sidewalks will be installed on the west side of Railroad Street next to the Union Pacific Railroad tracks. (Those tracks, utilized by the Portland and Western Railroad, see freight train use only once or twice a year, according to city officials.)

The new streets will be identical to the concrete ones installed on Pine and Main streets in 2009 and will come complete with the blue light posts that were controversial among some residents and merchants who said the color scheme was too dramatic a change.

Meanwhile, the street trees previously planted along Washington Street will be removed in favor of species that grow taller before spreading out their canopies, such as slow-growing Ginkgo trees, said Galati.

Plans are to have the project substantially completed by June 16 or before Cruisin’ Sherwood, an annual car show that attracts thousands of visitors to the downtown area. Galati has said the goal is to complete the work during a time frame that will have the least impact on Old Town merchants.

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