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Reconstruction of 271st Street begins April 2

Tea residents will need to take a new route beginning April 2.

Metro Construction’s subcontractor will take down the traffic light at the corner of 271st Street and Heritage Parkway intersection and set up road closures March 30 in preparation for the start of construction April 2.

Ben Scholtz, transportation project manager and design engineer for the project with HDR, the city’s engineer, said the construction will be from the future Cole Avenue to Gateway Lane on 271st Street.

They will tear out the current road and widen it to three lanes between those streets. At the intersection of 271st Street and Heritage Parkway, they will widen that to five or six lanes.

“There will be brand new street lights and we’ll have a brand new street signal at the Heritage intersection. The intersection itself will be substantially larger,” Scholtz said. “It will be five or six lanes in each direction total, so anybody who has fought through waiting for a left turn for a long time will no longer have to deal with that once the project is done.”

The project will urbanize the road and eliminate the ditches that are currently there.

“We’re going to urbanize the road. Right now it’s a rural section, meaning that there’s a ditch beside the road. There will no longer be a ditch beside the road,” he said.

Instead, they are adding storm sewer pipe under the road to move storm water. The road does not have any culverts that pass beneath it north and south and will not after construction.

Scholtz said any water that is on the north side of 271st Street stays on the north side and water on the south stays on the south side. Water that flows from Main Street east will drain toward Nine Mile Creek. Water headed west will continue to flow west.

He noted that there is a drainage ditch behind the townhomes in the Howling Ridge Development that empties into the current ditch on the north side of 271st Street. Water currently backs up in the ditch because the culverts running through those driveways are not large enough.

“We’re actually replacing all of those driveways and putting larger culverts beneath them. Then we’re actually going to pave so we’re going to put a concrete bottom in a channel along the ditch in front of all of those residential homes through those culverts so that all that water that’s coming out of the Howling Ridge area can get out to the west a little bit more efficiently,” Scholtz said.

In addition to three lanes, they will put in city water main and sanitary sewer that will connect to the existing water and sewer systems that are in Howling Ridge and to the south of 271st Street.

Delapre Township is working on an agreement with the city to pave the rest of 271st Street to 468th Avenue. That improvement will be just paving and not any utility improvements.

Scholtz said the construction contract states that the Heritage Parkway and 271st Street intersection will be open by Sept. 15, substantial completion of the project will be done by Oct. 20 and final completion by Nov. 17.

“Those are the deadlines within our contract. If for any reason the project does not meet those hard deadlines, they will have financial penalties to pay to the city,” Scholtz said.

Residents in the area received a letter informing them of the project.

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