Crews with Lakeside Industries placed about 600 tons of asphalt from Fifth Avenue to just west of Third Avenue on Nov. 22.
It was the first stretch of smooth roadway placed for the West Fir Street Rehabilitation Project.
Sequim city engineer Matt Klontz said this portion of asphalt was the initial overlay with another layer to come in the spring.
“Traffic should greatly improve for that portion in front of the Boys and Girls Club and Helen Haller (Elementary School),” he said.
The $6.5 rehabilitation project led by contractor Interwest Construction broke ground in May to repair Fir Street’s bumpy roadway and underground utilities prone to flooding from North Sequim Avenue to North Fifth Avenue.
During construction, drivers have experienced alternating detours and some backups at drop-off and pick-up times.
Klontz said with heavy traffic to the elementary school and club they wanted to minimize the inconvenience by focusing construction there before working east towards Sequim Avenue.
Some work will continue by the elementary school and club in the next month or two, he said, including finishing some sidewalks, grounding utility poles on the south side of the road, and adding landscaping, lighting and the final layer of asphalt.
Sidewalks will run along both sides of the street with curbs and intersections following the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
Similar concrete work will continue spanning from Third Avenue to Sequim Avenue by the athletic fields, Olympic Peninsula Academy and Sequim High School.
Both the budget and construction timeline remain on target, Klontz said.
“The contractor feels like they’re ahead but there’s still enough work ahead of them,” he said.
City staff said concrete work progressed faster than anticipated but underground utility work took longer than expected. Future progress is all weather-dependent.
“It’s on track to finish on time for the 2020-20021 school at the latest or it could be as early as May 2020,” Klontz said.
“There’s still enough work in front of them that we don’t want to over-promise but everyone’s optimistic,” he said.
Along with new sidewalks and roadway, the City’s project brings new piping for utilities and services, such as water and sewer, and a new traffic signal at Fifth Avenue and Fir Street.
Klontz said schools, parents and residents have been great to work with through construction.
“They’re the real troopers,” he said. “It’s an inconvenience but (their patience and understanding) is greatly appreciated.”
For updates on the West Fir Street Rehabilitation project, visit www.sequimwa.gov under the “Notify Me” page or by calling the City of Sequim Public Works Department at 360-683-4908.
Reach Matthew Nash at firstname.lastname@example.org.