A planned sewer and water pipeline replacement project this summer in Sequim includes a traffic circle at the intersection of East Spruce Street and North Sunnyside Avenue to slow traffic through the neighborhood. (Matthew Nash/Olympic Peninsula News Group)

Sequim prepares for impact of summer Sunnyside Avenue construction

Sequim city officials are spreading the word early that you may see some delays late this summer traveling along Washington Street and to such local staples as the Sequim Post Office and Clallam Co-Op Farm and Garden.

Installation of new sewer and water lines along North and South Sunnyside Avenue from Maple Street to East Fir Street will begin tentatively after Sequim Lavender Weekend in late July-early August.

“We’re trying to get word out now because the impact could last for up to three months,” said Matt Klontz, Sequim city engineer and assistant public works director.

The project will connect to new piping installed along South Sunnyside Avenue a few years ago and create more water/sewer capacity for new development and incoming waste from the Carlsborg Sewer Project, officials said.

Klontz said construction is planned to cost about $1.155 million with a portion, about $514,000, financed from the Carlsborg Sewer Project through an interlocal agreement with Clallam County.

When construction begins it will occur from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. weekdays from Washington Street to Fir Street along North Sunnyside Avenue, and at night from Washington Street to Maple Street when traffic volumes are low on South Sunnyside Avenue.

David Garlington, Sequim Public Works director, said utility work on Washington Street will take several weeks of night-time closures to complete with a paving overlay likely finished in one night.

Pete Tjemsland, Sequim utilities manager, said the water and sewer pipeline to be replaced could be about 70 years old.

The new sewer mains will measure 18 inches in diameter and 8 inches in diameter for water lines.

Klontz said the selected contractor will put down an overlay on the South Sunnyside Avenue portion. It will completely reconstruct the North Sunnyside Avenue portion because it’s an older road with a thin chip seal.

“If we’re going to rebuild it, then we’re going to do it right,” he said.

The project impacts 20-plus homes and a few businesses along North Sunnyside Avenue including the June Robinson Memorial Park.

City staff didn’t have data for the amount of traffic along the South Sunnyside Avenue portion but they said its high traffic flow was the pushing factor for construction at night.

A few residents and business owners attended an open house on March 9 about the project in the Sequim Civic Center.

One resident wanted the right-in, right-out island removed at the intersection of Washington Street and North Sunnyside Avenue while another asked about the possibility of installing pipeline for reclaimed water along the roadway.

Klontz said the traffic island will remain to help manage the traffic flow onto North Sunnyside Avenue. He said it prevents possible left-turn collisions because the North and South Sunnyside Avenue intersections don’t directly align.

As for adding reclaimed water, Tjemsland said including a pipeline for it would significantly add to the project because the closest pipeline is Second Avenue and Spruce Street and there are regulations mandating water, sewer and reclaimed water lines be 10 feet apart, which spans more than some portions of Sunnyside Avenue’s roadway width.

Sequim City Manager Charlie Bush said city officials are talking with legislators about changing laws to make installation of reclaimed water more feasible as part of utilities’ infrastructure.

Part of the project includes a traffic circle at Spruce Street and North Sunnyside Avenue.

Its purpose is to slow traffic through the neighborhood, Klontz said.

City staff plan to paint a test traffic circle in the coming weeks to see if Clallam County Fire District 3’s emergency vehicles can fit through the intersection without obstruction.

Klontz said they’d re-size it if needed.

Throughout the project, at least five curb ramps will be brought up to current code with the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Bids for contractors on the project go out in early May.

For more information on the project, call Sequim Public Works Department at 683-4908.

Matthew Nash is a reporter with the Olympic Peninsula News Group, which is composed of Sound Publishing newspapers Peninsula Daily News, Sequim Gazette and Forks Forum. Reach him at mnash@sequimgazette.com.

The view from Sequim VFW shows much of the span of North Sunnyside Avenue where crews this summer will reconstruct the road for new water and sewer pipeline. (Matthew Nash/Olympic Peninsula News Group)

The right-in, right-out traffic island will remain through construction this summer to prevent traffic collisions, say Sequim city staff, because North and South Sunnyside avenues don’t directly align. (Matthew Nash/Olympic Peninsula News Group)

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