By Rob Ollikainen
Peninsula Daily News
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County commissioners Tuesday voted to authorize the nonprofit coalition to apply for funds through the state Recreation and Conservation Office to construct a 12-vehicle parking area off Kitchen-Dick Road.
“They need us to sign an authorizing resolution basically allowing them to use land,” county Transportation Program Manager Rich James told commissioners last week.
“And then, because they would build a trailhead facility at this location, RCO [Recreation and Conservation Office] needs to know that it’s going to be maintained for 25 years.”
Clallam County would maintain the facility for at least a quarter-century.
It also would be responsible for the local match should the trails coalition fail to meet its grant requirements, a risk James described as “slight.”
“The PTC [Peninsula Trails Coalition] is really acting on behalf of the public’s benefit here to develop a trailhead,” he said.
The paved parking area would be on the east side of Kitchen-Dick Road, across from King’s Way Foursquare Church about a mile north of U.S. Highway 101.
It would have landscaping and a kiosk with trail maps.
“It would be a good, dedicated trailhead,” County Engineer Ross Tyler said.
If the coalition receives the grant, the trailhead would be finished by the summer of 2016.
The Olympic Discovery Trail is expected to eventually span the entire North Olympic Peninsula from Port Townsend to LaPush.
More than half of Clallam County’s 70-mile share of the trail is finished, including well-used segments between Port Angeles and Sequim.
Lake Crescent segment
In other trail news, commissioners Tuesday voted 2-0 — with Jim McEntire absent — to award a $399,399 bid to Interwest Construction Inc. of Burlington to construct a 0.3-mile section of the Olympic Discovery Trail at Lake Crescent.
The section begins at the Lyre River trailhead and rises above a wetland. It will essentially become a wider version of the existing Spruce Railroad Trail with two new pedestrian bridges measuring 80 feet and 30 feet, respectively.
A subsequent trail section that links up with the historic railroad grade on the north shore of the lake is being designed.
The county is working with Olympic National Park to eventually pave and widen the entire 3.5-mile Spruce Railroad Trail to serve wheelchair users, cyclists, equestrians and hikers.
Two historic railroad tunnels will be restored for the combined Spruce Railroad-Olympic Discovery Trail.
Interwest was one of two non-Clallam County contractors that submitted a bid for the first Lake Crescent trail section. Nordland Construction of Jefferson County offered $422,078 for the project.
The engineer’s estimate was $321,900.
“We’re still in the ballpark,” Tyler told Commissioners Mike Chapman and Mike Doherty on Tuesday.
“I don’t believe it’s reasonable to expect that we would get anything less if we rebid it at some later date, so I would recommend that we move forward.”
When asked by Chapman why there were no local bidders, Tyler said area contractors are already tied up on other projects.
“We made real sure that the local bidders were aware of it,” Tyler said.
Reporter Rob Ollikainen can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 5072, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.