Traffic crosses the McDonald Creek bridge on Old Olympic Highway near Agnew on Tuesday. (Keith Thorpe/Peninsula Daily News)

Clallam County opens bids for McDonald Creek bridge replacement

Clallam County commissioners on May 9 opened seven bids from Western Washington contractors vying to replace the aging Old Olympic Highway bridge over McDonald Creek.

Orion Marine Contractors Inc. of Tacoma submitted a low bid of $3.07 million.

Bruch & Bruch Construction Inc. of Port Angeles had the second-lowest bid at $3.10 million.

Other bids came from Nordland Construction NW Inc. of Nordland ($3.48 million), Interwest Construction Inc. of Burlington ($3.49 million), Quigg Brothers Inc. of Aberdeen ($3.79 million), Pacific Civil & Infrastructure Inc. of Federal Way ($4.23 million) and Pacific Pile & Marine of Seattle ($4.38 million).

The three commissioners referred the bids to the county Road Department for a review. The board is expected to award a contract to the lowest responsible bidder on May 16.

The estimated cost of the long-planned safety project is between $3.5 million and $4 million, according to the planholder’s list. County Engineer Ross Tyler told meeting attendees that his estimate was $3.8 million.

Old Olympic Highway will be closed at the Agnew-area bridge site during the removal of the 24-foot-wide 1957 bridge and construction of the 40-foot-wide modern bridge.

Construction will commence in about one month and last for a scheduled eight months, Assistant County Engineer Joe Donisi said.

“We hope that’s a longer duration than we’ll actually take,” Donisi said in a telephone interview.

U.S. Highway 101 will be used as a detour during construction.

The new bridge will be taller than the old bridge and match the width of newer sections of the county thoroughfare. Donisi said the old, narrow bridge and its approaches present a “bottleneck” for Old Olympic Highway travelers.

County officials decided to replace the 60-year-old bridge rather than perform a seismic retrofit because of the high cost of a retrofit and the benefits of having a wider bridge.

The county will pay about 70 percent of the cost through its road fund and real estate excise taxes.

The other 30 percent will come from federal Surface Transportation Program, or STP, funding, Donisi said.

Reporter Rob Ollikainen can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 56450, or at rollikainen@ peninsuladailynews.com.