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Road projects continue to make driving challenging

We’re about to

If you think driving the main drag between Omak and Okanogan has been challenging during the past year or so, just wait.

We’re about to be surrounded.

Road construction season is here, and the highway through Okanogan and Omak will be repaved.

The project involves rebuilding sidewalk ramps to meet Americans with Disabilities Act standards, installing “bulb-outs” at several corners, grinding off the old pavement and putting down new asphalt.

The utility projects we’ve endured for the past year – Omak’s sewer project and a telephone fiber installation – paved the way, so to speak, for the paving project.

Pressure was on to get the utilities done before the paving project began.

But wait, that’s not all.

State highways all over the county will be under construction soon, with flaggers and delays expected.

Paving work is planned on U.S. Highway 97 between Brewster and Okanogan and north of Tonasket, state Highway 20 over Loup Loup Pass and east of Tonasket, and on highways in the Bridgeport, Leahy Junction and Grand Coulee areas.

In short, we’ll be driving over torn up roads all summer.

I’m sure the windshield chip repair places and front-end alignment shops are salivating over the prospects for the coming construction season.

In the end, after the state pours more than $18 million into the projects, we should have nice, smooth roads to drive on.

At least until next year’s construction season begins.

Dee Camp is a reporter at The Chronicle. She can be reached via email at dcamp@omakchronicle.com.

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