The Cambrian

New round of roadwork will tangle traffic on Main Street in Cambria

Main Street through Cambria's West Village will receive new seal-coating in work set to resume on July 9.
Main Street through Cambria's West Village will receive new seal-coating in work set to resume on July 9.

Work will start again Monday, July 9, on the seal-coating of Cambria’s busy Main Street and part of Burton Drive, according to officials at county Public Works.

Seal-coating on other sections is already done, as is much of the re-striping.

Public Works estimates that the rest of the resurfacing — on Burton Drive from Eton Road to Main, and on Main Street from approximately Cambria Drive through West Village to the Highway 1 intersection and from Bridge Street to Santa Rosa Creek Road — will take about three days to complete.

The roadwork would be scheduled during regular working hours, and customers will be able to get to all businesses during normal operating hours. Traffic will be reduced to one-way controls with flaggers.

That project is part of a much larger job to apply an asphalt slurry-coat to 65 miles of roadways countywide.

Pete Newel, resident engineer for Public Works, said June 27 that Sierra Nevada Construction crews are scheduled to start July 9 from Cambria Drive to Sheffield Street. If weather conditions allow and the seal-coat cures quickly enough, he said, workers would return to that same area the next day to apply a second coat.

The remainder of the work — from Sheffield to Cornwall Street and maybe even all the way to Highway 1 — could be complete on July 10, Newel said, although it may take another day or so to finish, again depending on the weather and other factors.

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Business impacts

The roadwork and traffic disruption will be hard on businesses in the area, said Mary Ann Carson, executive director of the Cambria Chamber of Commerce.

But, she said, at least there should be room in West Village for traffic to continue to flow in an alternating pattern in one lane.

That wasn’t the case in East Village, she said. “On the day that they closed down the road there, business owners were extremely irritated and complaining bitterly that nobody could get to them. A few businesses even closed their doors.

“After all,” Carson continued, “one day in the life of these small businesses is very important to them,” especially during a summer season in which tourism has been affected by the prolonged closure of scenic Highway 1 at Mud Creek.

Volunteers build the whimsical, kooky and eclectic scarecrows each year for the Cambria Scarecrow Festival, which runs throughout October in Cambria, Harmony and San Simeon. Here's a look at how the scarecrows are made.

Finishing the job

Joshua Roberts, transportation division manager for Public Works, said June 27 that there were several reasons behind splitting the Cambria project in half.

“We were aware that the contractor had another contract out of town” immediately following the originally expected completion date for the Cambria project, Roberts said. When the Main Street work took longer than expected, “our choice was to stop and start, or delay the entire project significantly.”

They chose the former option, he said, because if a job like that starts too late in the season, the work can be rushed. “We didn’t want that to happen.”

Other factors in the delay were the second coat required from Cambria Drive to Sheffield, a large annual bicycle ride and increased traffic over the July 4 holiday.

Note: This story has been updated with more specifics on the work schedule.