State to open bids for U.S. 101 widening project

By Rob Ollikainen
Peninsula Daily News

PORT ANGELES — The state Department of Transportation will open bids Wednesday for the long-awaited $67 million widening of U.S. Highway 101 between Port Angeles and Sequim.

Project Manager Steve Fuchs said Transportation will award a bid to the lowest appropriate bidder late this week or early next week.

“It’s a normal process,” Fuchs said via telephone from Olympia.

The bid opening was delayed by one week from Oct. 31.

Twenty contractors requested proposals for the two-year project, which will provide two lanes of travel in both directions between Kitchen-Dick and Shore roads.

The 3.5-mile project area is the only remaining two-lane segment between Clallam County’s main urban centers.

Eastbound and westbound traffic will be separated by a 32-foot median to reduce the chances of head-on wrecks.

Left turns onto the highway will be prohibited. Motorists will instead turn right and reverse course at one of six dedicated U-turns.

Some county roads that connect to the highway will have to be raised or lowered to meet the new grade.

Phase 1 of the project will be construction of a new bridge over McDonald Creek.

“We hope to have the bridge work start at McDonald Creek just after the first of the year,” Fuchs said.

Later next year, the state will put traffic onto the new bridge, tear down the existing McDonald Creek bridge and build a second modern bridge in its place.

Meanwhile, crews will begin moving dirt for the new lanes in April or May, Fuchs said.

Contractors also are bidding on an alternate project: a 130-foot-long pedestrian underpass at Kitchen-Dick Road for Clallam Transit passengers.Transit would fund the underpass with state and federal grants if the bids come back within range.

The Clallam Transit board voted last month to commit a maximum of $500,000 to the project.

Clallam County, which is acting as the agent for Clallam Transit, approved a letter of understanding with the state to put the “box culvert” pedestrian crossing at East Owl Creek onto the bidding documents for the widening project.

The widening of Highway 101 is scheduled to wrap up in October 2014.

The state project will overlap with the county’s $9.2 million road and underpass of U.S. Highway 101 at Old Deer Park Road northwest of Deer Park Cinema.

County commissioners last month purchased the final right of way and parcels the county needs for the underpass.

The two-lane road with a 10-foot-wide pedestrian and bike path will eliminate left turns onto the highway from Deer Park Road and Buchanan Drive.

Federal transportation grants will cover about 80 percent of the cost. Clallam County is supplying $2 million from real estate excise taxes.

The county project will go out to bid late this month or in December, County Engineer Ross Tyler has said.

Reporter Rob Ollikainen can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 5072, or at

Last modified: November 05. 2012 6:02PM
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