By Rob Ollikainen
Peninsula Daily News
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County commissioners voted 3-0 Tuesday to approve a letter of understanding with the state to call for bids for a future underpass inside a new box culvert for East Owl Creek near the Clallam Transit bus stops at Kitchen-Dick and Kirk roads west of Carlsborg.
The 130-foot path is an addendum to the construction bids for the widening of U.S. Highway 101 along the 3.5-mile corridor between Kitchen-Dick and Shore roads.
Clallam Transit would fund the underpass with state and federal grants if the bids come back within range.
In a special meeting Oct. 1, the Clallam Transit board voted to commit a maximum of $500,000 to the project.
“We would commit grant funding with a limit of $480,000, plus another $20,000 for engineering and design work,” Clallam Transit General Manager Terry Weed said in a telephone interview last week.
“It will give Clallam County and Clallam Transit the option of accepting the bid amount or rejecting it if it’s too high.”
Clallam County is acting as the agent for Clallam Transit.
The state Department of Transportation will open bids for the widening project Oct. 31, project manager Steve Fuchs said.
The $67 million total cost of the highway-widening project includes the design, engineering, right-of-way acquisition and construction, Fuchs said.
The county added the pedestrian underpass to its six-year transportation plan last month.
Commissioner Mike Chapman on Tuesday said it’s the “right time to do that project” because it coincides with the highway widening.
Clallam Transit board member Candace Pratt, who is also a Sequim City Council member, told the council Monday that Transit will fund the underpass with state and regional mobility grants and federal Surface Transportation Program dollars.
Meanwhile, the highway-widening project will begin this winter with construction of a new bridge over McDonald Creek.
Traffic will be diverted onto the new bridge as a second bridge is built next year.
Once completed in October 2014, eastbound and westbound travelers will have two lanes each, separated by a 32-foot median to reduce the likelihood of head-on wrecks.
Reporter Rob Ollikainen can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 5072, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.