Umatilla County is replacing sidewalks and curbs at the courthouse in Pendleton and upgrading other fronts.
Rod Anderson Construction Inc., Pendleton, won the sidewalk project with a $146,000 bid. Crews this week are removing the old sidewalk behind the courthouse, 216 S.E. Fourth St., and preparing the site for a replacement.
County Commissioner George Murdock said finding a contractor was not easy because the job was too big for small operations and not big enough for most larger outfits. But replacing the sidewalk was imperative for the county. Cracks abound on the front sidewalk, and some portions along the back were worn down to gravel, he said, creating safety issues and a liability for the county.
One injury lawsuit could cost well more than the price of the project.
Parking along the front side of the courthouse also is getting a change. Mark Tanner, Umatilla County maintenance director, said the parallel parking there will come to an end. The county is moving to diagonal parking, he said, to increase the number of spots near the courthouse.
The county also is upgrading other nearby properties.
Crews finished planting new rose bushes at the public health building, 200 S.E. Third St., earlier this summer. Tanner said the pink and white blossoms next year should present a nice contrast.
Workers also tore up the sidewalk and a portion of county property along Southeast Court at Fifth Street in preparation for new trees. Tanner said the in-house work is part of the Pendleton Downtown Association’s beautification project.
The county will prepare the site, he said, but will hold off on planting until the spring. That’s also when crews will plant trees around the large parking lot just west, on the 200 block of Southeast Court Avenue.
Tanner said the trees will be located on the east and west sides of the lot. He said the plantings will be species of linden that do not grow tall enough that the branches will interfere with overhead power lines.
The county is not adding trees along the large parking lot’s Court Avenue side. The road is state highway and Tanner said the Oregon Department of Transportation determined the strip of land was too narrow for trees.