Construction on West Fir Street is expected to be under budget and finished before schools let out for summer, city officials report.
That’s months ahead of the 18 month forecast, and nearly $700,000 less than expected.
Matt Klontz, Sequim city engineer/assistant public works director, said the project spanning the north sides of Sequim Avenue to Fifth Avenue could finish by late April or as late as the end of May, depending on weather.
“The contractor started May 20 (2019), and if we’re done before then, we can brag and say we’re done in less than a year,” he joked with Sequim city councilors on Jan. 13.
As for funding, Klontz said by project’s end, it could come close to $691,000 under the construction award amount with Interwest Construction and finish at about $5.5 million, compared to the $6.2 million contract.
Original cost estimates last February to repair the roadway with new piping, surfacing, safety amenities and more set the project at upwards of $6.9 million.
City staff said then that was due in part to consultants not including irrigation piping in the estimates, inaccurate costs for supplies and more.
“We appear to be back on target with what we originally planned,” Klontz said in an interview.
“The strategy was to wait and see how we’re doing and possibly do a budget amendment to dedicate more money (to the project),” he said.
”But it could be we don’t even need a budget amendment. There’s still three to fourth months ahead of us.”
Klontz reports that the sewer, water and reclaimed water construction costs could come in under budget by about $65,000, while costs for placing telephone and internet lines underground could also come under budget by about $143,000.
Roadway costs are the only fund going over budget — by $40,000 — because the contractor tentatively using more aggregate (roadway material) than expected, Klontz said.
That extra amount comes from a Construction Contingency fund, with the remainder of about $525,000 tentatively going back into various utility funds for future projects.
A traffic signal on North Fifth Avenue and West Fir Street remains part of the project, and Klontz said they plan to install a conduit at North Sequim Avenue and West Fir Street for a future traffic signal to reduce future construction costs.
“Based on the growth for that part of Sequim, I believe we will meet the need for a traffic signal there in the next five to ten years,” he said.
“When the project started, we knew a traffic signal was needed there, but was twenty years out. Now the need for a signal is going to be met much sooner.”
The North Fifth Avenue traffic signal will be operational by the project’s completion date for an estimated cost of about $340,000, he said.
Vehicles will have left hand turn lanes with turn arrows on the lights along Fifth Avenue going north and south.
Cost for a light on Sequim Avenue ranges from $200,000-$300,000, Klontz said.
Interwest plans to install rectangular rapid flashing beacons at the intersection where pedestrians push a button leading to bright lights alerting drivers.
Last week’s snowfall shut down construction Monday-Friday, Jan. 13-17 but resumed on Jan. 20.
Fresh sidewalks were covered to prevent damage from the snow.
Klontz said some of the remaining larger projects include adding the traffic signal, road lighting, more sidewalks, and landscaping.
Final paving is tentatively slated for Sequim School District’s Spring Break, set for March 30-April 3.
“It’s weather dependent but it’s a nice goal to work towards,” Klontz said.
For more information about the West Fir Street Rehabilitation project, call Sequim Public Works at 360-683-4908 or visit www.sequimwa.gov.
Reach Matthew Nash at firstname.lastname@example.org.