Officials with the City of Sequim say construction likely begins Monday, May 13, along Fir Street to repair the road. Some of the impacts include moving sidewalks and a few athletic fields a few feet north to make room for new amenities like new sewer and water pipes, and new road pavement. Sequim Gazette file photo by Matthew Nash

Officials with the City of Sequim say construction likely begins Monday, May 13, along Fir Street to repair the road. Some of the impacts include moving sidewalks and a few athletic fields a few feet north to make room for new amenities like new sewer and water pipes, and new road pavement. Sequim Gazette file photo by Matthew Nash

Fir Street construction set to begin May 13, go through summer 2020

Dates are beginning to cement for the start of the West Fir Street Rehabilitation Project.

Sequim City Engineer Matt Klontz told Sequim city councilors April 8 that Interwest Construction, Inc. of Carlsborg plans to move Monday, April 29, onto vacated space near the Sequim School District’s new Central Kitchen.

They’ll close Second Avenue between Alder and Fir streets for construction vehicles to create a staging yard, he said.

They’ll stop work, such as locating utilities, for the Sequim Irrigation Festival and begin again on May 13 with a groundbreaking ceremony tentatively set for May 15, Klontz said.

“We’re moving right along quickly,” he said.

Interwest is slated to complete the project in the summer of 2020 to rebuild half-a-mile of road from Sequim Avenue to Fifth Avenue.

City councilors agreed to a contract March 25 for a construction contract with Interwest worth up to $6,473,700 including a 10 percent construction contingency.

The project includes paved lanes, sidewalks on both sides of the street, Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) compliant curb ramps, street lighting, a new traffic signal at Fifth Avenue and Fir Street, new and larger water and sewer mains, stormwater collection and irrigating pipes, and new pipes for future reclaimed water reuse.

Impact

Klontz said community members and parents driving by nearby schools likely will feel construction impact for the first month of construction through May.

“It shouldn’t be all of next year,” he said. “We’re told we should be in good shape when they come back next fall.”

City staff previously said Fir Street will become one-way and one lane going west at times during construction with drivers being able to turn on Second, Third and Fourth avenues. No timeline has been set for when that will go into effect.

Baseball and fastpitch teams should be able to finish their seasons, school officials said, but Sequim School District’s parking lots and softball fields will move 4 to 5 feet north for construction. Bus parking will remain unaffected, city officials said.

Residents can sign up to receive updates on the West Fir Street Rehabilitation project on the city’s website sequimwa.gov under the “Notify Me” page and registering for “Fir Street Construction” under the Alert Center. For more information, contact the City of Sequim Public Works Department at 360-683-4908.

Funding

In February, city staff learned of an approximate $1.675 million shortfall due to multiple elements such as consultants not accounting for new irrigation pipes, inaccurate costs for supplies and quantities, and the city adding additional landscaping elements last year when funding seemed below estimates.

To counter the shortfall, Klontz said they saved $125,000 in design modifications in the bidding process, $460,000 from a favorable bid contract, $300,000 in construction management savings, $240,000 additional funding for the project added in 2018, and $85,000 in construction contingencies and multipliers.

The current shortfall is about $465,000 but Klontz said they’ll reevaluate construction costs at the end of the year to see if other city funds are needed. He said the construction contingency might be enough to cover the shortfall.

Reach Matthew Nash at mnash@sequimgazette.com.

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