North portion of Oak Street reopens in Port Angeles
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Keith Thorpe/Peninsula Daily News
A car makes its way down a newly opened section of the 200 block of North Oak Street in downtown Port Angeles on Friday. Construction crews opened the block with a temporary gravel surface after removing the original road surface and an adjoining sidewalk for sewer line replacement.

By Jeremy Schwartz
Peninsula Daily News

PORT ANGELES — The stretch of North Oak Street that had been completely closed to vehicle traffic since mid-February was reopened Friday with a temporary road surface.

The newly opened half-block of Oak Street, just north of the intersection with East Front Street, means cars and trucks can now use Oak to access the alley between First Street and West Railroad Avenue and the parking lot of Pacific Rim Hobby.

“You can get to the alley, and you can get to Pacific Rim Hobby,” said Keith Parker, construction manager with Bellevue-based Vanir Construction Management.

Vanir is working with the city on managing the combined sewer overflow — or CSO — project, which had necessitated the complete closure of Oak Street, and the esplanade project running parallel to Railroad Avenue.

Parking on the west side of Oak Street will not be allowed, Parker said, though it will be permitted on the east side.

The temporary fence will remain on the east side of Oak until the permanent road surface is put in because of the roughly 6-inch gap between the temporary road surface and the east-side sidewalk.

“We want a fence just to protect people from the dropoff,” Parker said.

First phase of CSO project

The Oak Street construction was part of the $16.7 million first phase of the city's CSO project, which is meant to increase wastewater and stormwater capacity to prevent overflows into Port Angeles Harbor during heavy storm events.

Parker said Oak Street will be left alone for all of this month and probably most of April as crews with Primo Construction replace the sidewalk on the south side of Railroad Avenue, work expected to start in the next week or so and last until late this month or early April.

The Railroad Avenue sidewalk replacement is part of the city's $3.9 million esplanade project, which will widen the sidewalk, improve the surface of Railroad Avenue and add a concrete promenade that extends out over the water.

The esplanade work also will include the replacement of the now-torn-up sidewalk on the west side of Oak Street and the eventual replacement of Oak's east-side sidewalk.

Parker said Primo's schedule shows work should begin on the west side of the sidewalk in April or May, while the east-side sidewalk will not be torn up and replaced until the Railroad Avenue sidewalk is installed.

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Reporter Jeremy Schwartz can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 5074, or at jschwartz@peninsuladailynews.com.

Last modified: March 02. 2013 5:15PM
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