By editorial board • 

Patience is the watchword as we watch our tax investment pay off

Construction continues apace throughout McMinnville, and for downtown drivers and pedestrians, it’s creating a war-zone atmosphere in some locales.
That situation will expand Monday, when demolition begins at Fourth and Ford streets to prepare for the new Atticus Hotel.

Sidewalks surrounding the quarter-block site will be cordoned off for months. Adjacent streets will be carrying heavy equipment in and out of the site, and nearly three dozen people will be searching for new parking spots in the surrounding area.

Meanwhile, the rolling closure of portions of Fifth Street continues, allowing for application of new paving and some finishing touches to that element of the city’s transportation bond program. When the work is completed in the coming weeks, three new Fifth Street stoplights will be operating, creating a more efficient east-west flow downtown.

In the months to come, the city transportation program will move on to other projects, some downtown and others outlying. And as anyone driving in the Northeast Gateway District knows, the Alpine Street project has been diverting traffic around homes and businesses in that area.

The same will soon be said for Second Street between Adams and Cowls. Signs are posted now as utility companies maneuver lines where they would be in conflict of pending construction. That work, which will provide new turn lanes and update traffic signals, is set to begin at the start of June. 

In the meantime, School District 40 is renovating school buildings throughout the community, creating new administration and maintenance facilities along south Lafayette Avenue and producing a now beautifully flat Baker Field at 17th and Baker streets, where a new track and playing field await installation.

Private businesses are joining the construction crush on the former Evergreen campus, and elsewhere.

The explosion of local construction comes after years of preparation by private business, the city, the school district and local citizens. It’s rare to have that kind of development nexus involve so many entities at once, but may not perhaps be so surprising in a community such as McMinnville.

Anyone seeking updates and information on the various bond projects can find them at mcminnvilletransportationbond.org.

All local citizens and visitors will be happy to see this burst of construction come to a close over the next year. Until then, we can only urge caution among walkers and drivers, who will have to confront various development zones on a weekly or even daily basis.

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