By Terri Harber
Sidewalk demolition and digging into the road to move utility lines underground is occurring on Resort Street.
The section ofResort that runs parallel to Main Street in Baker City's downtown area is being reconstructed and beautified.
The project area runs along Resort from Campbell Street to Auburn Avenue.
City employees and the contractors working on the street will attempt to minimize disruptions to businesses on Resort - as well as to people trying to reach those locations - as the project progresses.
The loss of front access to businesses will be kept as short as possible, said Doug Schwin, city engineer.
The work also will be done so as not to inconvenience the public during upcoming celebrations such as the Hells Canyon Motorcycle Rally and the Miners Jubilee.
Resort will go from being one of the city's most worn down roadways to being one of its best once the work is complete.
Along with reconstruction of the roadway, it will feature wider sidewalks with benches, trees and other amenities. The idea is to help draw more residents and tourists to downtown businesses.
Long-term plans for the area include having the Leo Adler Memorial Parkway connect Resort Streetto the Powder River, and to link Central Park and the downtown historic district.
Above-ground improvements to Resort are being paid for using about $2.3 million in state gas tax money.
Some of the state funding will be used to resolve utility line conflicts. But financing relocation of the utility lines underground will come from the property owners along Resort Street and from the city.
The utility providers that will have their service lines buried under Resort have given the city discounts, donations and other price breaks to bring down the cost of that work.
Each Friday, the city intends to post Resort Street progress reports on its website, www.bakercity.com.