BARSTOW — The Super Wal-Mart project remains on track, according to an update presented at a recent Planning Commission meeting, with the second phase of construction starting soon.

City consulting engineer Brad Merrell presented an update on the project during last Monday’s Planning Commission meeting as part of a traffic and safety update. Construction began ramping up last week when crews began work on curbs and gutters in the area. Paving on East Main Street is expected to start next week.

“Hopefully — keeping my fingers crossed — East Main Street will be all done soon,” Merrell said. “The traffic signal is still being worked on and is wrapping up; it should be done within two to three weeks. Keep your eyes peeled.”

However, Merrell wanted to offer a “public service announcement” regarding the paving of Montara Road, which won’t be done until after construction is completed. This was due to the amount of work that has to be done to get the store’s new parking lot to the same lower level as the current one.

“There’s three sequences to the Wal-Mart project and right now we’re entering sequence two, where the old Wal-Mart building will be demolished,” Merrell said. “Once the store is done, we have 80,000 tons of dirt to move.”

Merrell said construction crews plan on hauling the dirt for “three weeks solid” to expedite the project. Because of the faster pace, there will be many large trucks in the roadway near Wal-Mart, prompting project managers to decide to hold off on paving Montara Road until the project is fully completed.

“We’ll have the grand opening for Super Wal-Mart, but we won’t have a brand-new road. Montara Road will have a new traffic signal, some striping and signs but you’ll still be driving on old beat-up asphalt,” Merrell said.

Upon the project’s completion, Merrell said the paving on Montara Road “should be very quick,” and believed it would be done within a week after the store’s grand opening, which is expected to happen mid-summer.

Paola Baker may be reached at 760-955-5332 or Follow her on Twitter at @DP_PaolaBaker.