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Costco project waits for Caltrans sign off
Costco

Costco project waits for Caltrans sign off

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乐动体育After months of just a sign and an empty field, there’s finally some activity at the Hanford Costco site.

Contractors have been cutting down trees at the Highway 43/East Lacey Boulevard site in preparation for dirt grading and earth-moving operations.

Two things are slated to happen at roughly the same time: relocating the Lacey Boulevard/Highway 43 intersection northward with a roundabout replacing the traffic light and construction on the Costco building itself.

乐动体育Developer John Kashian said the trees had to be cut down by a certain date according to the environmental impact report. He said the action is designed to prevent bird nesting that could interfere with construction later.

乐动体育Kashian said that “everybody is still moving forward to try to get [Costco] open this year.”

乐动体育He said he hopes to get it open by September. He said he’s “confident” that the popular membership store will be open before the end of the year.

Kashian said the road work can’t go forward until Caltrans officials sign off on the city’s plans for the roundabout. He said Caltrans officials need to issue an encroachment permit in order for work to start.

The city of Hanford’s public works department has oversight over the roadwork.

乐动体育Deputy Public Works Director John Doyel said he’s trying to get the encroachment permit “this week.”

Caltrans Spokeswoman Tami Conrado said she wasn’t sure of the timeline.

“Caltrans is currently reviewing the [roundabout] plans now,” she said.

“It’s a long process to get all the entitlements done,” Doyel said. “It’s just buttoning up all the loose ends so that when we say, ‘Go,’ there’s no holdup.”

Doyel said the whole Costco development “is not a standard project,” primarily because of the intersection relocation and the roundabout.

Part of the delay has been because the city has had to obtain all the parcels of land needed for the project.

Doyel said the last parcel — a strip of land previously owned by Helena Chemical Co. on the north side of Lacey Boulevard — was acquired Feb. 5.

Kashian said Caltrans’ approval is the “main” remaining hurdle the project has to clear.

“I think everything else will work itself out [after that],” he said.

乐动体育Doyel said the road relocation and the roundabout, with an approximate $6 million price tag, is “one of the largest transportation projects the city has ever done.”

乐动体育Doyel said it would take about six months to build once construction starts.

Kashian said that work on the Costco building should take about four months from start to finish.

“I would like to get construction started by the end of [March],” he said.

Hanford City Councilman David Ayers said the city has done everything it needs to do for construction to start.

“As far as I know, everything’s OK,” Ayers said.

乐动体育“Everything is in order,” said Councilman Gary Pannett. “I’m sure Costco will be built this year.”

The reporter can be reached at snidever@addaptcreative.com or 583-2432. Follow him on Twitter @snidever.

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