Working Towards Improvements of Watson Industrial Park

Watson Industrial Park is somewhat of a hidden street in Crestwood, but I bet you know where it is. It's that industrial park on the north side of Watson, just east of the old mall site. You probably will remember that sketchy one-lane bridge and the narrow street full of pot holes and patches. What may surprise you is that this is actually a private road and is not maintained by the city. Instead, the owners of the buildings along that road pay an annual association fee for its upkeep. As you may have noticed, it's not really working.

The city has been in discussions with the association for several years to find a solution that could turn this into a public street, allowing the city to improve and maintain it. Recently the first step in that process was completed, via an agreement that establishes a path towards that goal.

A local engineering firm has visited the site and taken photos needed for the city to apply for a grant to help fund the project. This site visit revealed a roadway that suffers from general asphalt pavement failure, poorly managed stormwater drainage, unintuitive access management, an unprotected utility corridor, and a major hurdle to traffic flow with a one-lane bridge. Additionally, the one-lane bridge is showing signs of delamination and deterioration of the box beam girders from winter salting operations and lack of follow-up deck flushing in the spring. They also began to analyze efficient routes for connecting the adjacent Grant’s Trail with the former Crestwood Plaza site via Watson Industrial Park.

Funding for this improvement project would come from multiple sources, including a potential East-West Gateway STP-S grant , and through property assessments to the land owners along that road (replacing the association fees that they are paying today). As part of the agreement, the city will snow plow and salt the street beging this winter season (which isn't much of a burden, since the city's public works maintenance yard is on the same street and the snow plows are already driving along this route).

Like the replacement of the Whitecliff bridge, this would be a multi-year project and it's still in preliminary stages. Approvals from the Watson Industrial Park land owners and association are still needed and they are most interested in learning what their annual costs would be. Detailed project costs should be determined by the February 11, 2021 grant application deadline. More to come on this potential project. If it happens, it will be a huge improvement for this part of our city.