City prioritizes Fir Street paving for pandemic emergency response

Street light, speed bumps and more to come after coronavirus restrictions lifted

As predicted by City of Sequim staff, paving on West Fir Street began on Spring Break as part of an approximate $6.2 million road rehabilitation project to rebuild the five-block stretch near the main Sequim schools campus.

The roads have been quiet with schools closed due to the coronavirus pandemic on March 17.

City staff still set a priority for the project to finish the asphalt this week to accommodate possible emergency services, Sequim City Manager Charlie Bush said.

“We plan to finish the asphalt part of it, and then pause it for the time being,” he said.

“We want to get that asphalt done if we have more emergency operations in that area.”

Sequim Public Works Director David Garlington said staff will postpone work on the traffic signal on Fifth Avenue, street illumination, landscaping, some signage and installing a speed bump near Sequim High School’s band and choir rooms and Olympic Peninsula Academy.

When those parts of the project will be completed is unknown, Bush said.

While some city public works projects are continuing, such as installation of an emergency generator on River Road and a well pump backup system, some are on hold, such as a sewer lift station on Bell Hill and the city’s rooftop solar project.

Snowfall shut down Fir Street construction from Jan. 13-17; it resumed Jan. 20.

Garlington said the West Fir Street Rehabilitation project is on budget. Original costs for the project put it at about $6.9 million, but the contract with Interwest came to $6.2 million and city staff said the project could finish at about $5.5 million.

Paving Fir Street

City staff estimate the asphalt paving by Lakeside Industries and Interwest Construction to last 7 a.m.-6 p.m. through April 2. Many construction projects have been halted in the state, but Bush said the paving is deemed essential to respond to the pandemic.

During construction, a detour route will be in place at the Fir Street and Sequim Avenue and North Fifth Avenue intersections at alternating times, Garlington said.

Resident access will be allowed, along with access to the Sequim Boys & Girls Club and the Sequim School District’s central kitchen.

Emergency vehicle access will be provided at all times.

City staff said construction meets social distancing and appropriate health and worker protection measures required by Gov. Jay Inslee.

For more information, contact Sequim’s Department of Public Works at 360-683-4908.

Reach Matthew Nash at