The Dungeness River in late August. Sequim Gazette photo by Michael Dashiell

The Dungeness River in late August. Sequim Gazette photo by Michael Dashiell

Bid awarded for Dungeness levee project phase

Clallam County commissioners have awarded a contract for the earthwork phase of the long-awaited Lower Dungeness River levee setback project.

A groundbreaking ceremony that was planned for Sept. 9 has been canceled due to high rates of COVID-19, officials said Tuesday.

The three county commissioners voted unanimously on Aug. 31 to award the contract to Scarsella Brothers, Inc. of Kent.

Scarsella Brothers, which has worked on several large-scale projects in Clallam County, received a $5.5 million bid award for the lower Dungeness project in early August.

Phase 1 will construct a new levee for the Dungeness River and an embankment to realign Towne Road to allow the river to meander in its historic floodplain.

A new culvert will be installed for a Meadowbrook Creek tributary, and Towne Road will be moved farther away from the river’s main stem.

The project is a collaboration between the county, the Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe and North Olympic Lead Entity for Salmon.

Ceremony

The groundbreaking ceremony scheduled for Sept. 9 was canceled because of high rates of COVID-19 transmission, east-county District 1 Commissioner Mark Ozias announced last week.

“That’s a tough one for all the organizers who were really looking forward to getting all of the funders for this project and members of the community together to give it a public kickoff on the right foot, so I’m sorry that’s not going to happen,” Ozias said in the business meeting on Aug. 31.

“I’m sure that event will be rescheduled at some point in the future when COVID is not raging.”

Clallam County is in the high-risk category for COVID-19, public health officials said.

“In light of the high disease transmission and activity, the Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe and Clallam County partners are cancelling our celebration,” according to a joint announcement from the county, tribe and Lead Entity for Salmon.

“We are not, however, postponing the work — a new dike realignment is being constructed as we type this communication.”

Phase 1 of the multi-year floodplain restoration and levee and road alignment project is funded by Floodplains by Design and Puget Sound Acquisition and Restoration programs, county officials have said.

The bid from Scarsella Brothers bid was the lowest of three that commissioners opened in a public meeting in July.

The engineer’s estimate for the earthwork phase was $5.7 million.

In other board action Tuesday, commissioners opened one bid for a variable air volume (VAV) system replacement at the Clallam County Courthouse.

A bid of $335,065 was submitted by Aldergrove Construction, Inc. of Port Angeles.

The bid was remanded to the Parks, Fair and Facilities Department for a review and recommendation to the board.

The budgeted cost for the courthouse VAV replacement was $330,000, county Parks, Fair and Facilities Director Joel Winborn said.

Commissioners also approved a call for bids for the planned roundabout at Sequim-Dungeness Way and Woodcock Road north of Sequim.

Bids for that project will be opened Sept. 28.

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