By Jeremy Schwartz
Peninsula Daily News
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PORT ANGELES — The city will spend an additional $134,217 on the Lauridsen Boulevard bridge replacement project, slated to begin later this year, bringing the city's contribution to the project up by 13.1 percent, from just more than $1 million to about $1.2 million.
City Council members voted 6-0, with Councilman Patrick Downie absent, on Tuesday to approve the additional money, which the city will shift from a capital construction projects fund set aside for unexpected expenses, City Public Works Director Glenn Cutler said.
This year's balance of unassigned cash in this fund is $192,000, Cutler told the council.
The new city share is the required 20 percent match of the estimated total project amount of $5.8 million, which Cutler said is the top end of what the city expects the project will be bid for, with contingency funds added.
A federal grant, administered through the state Department of Transportation, will supply the remaining 80 percent, about $4.6 million.
The city expects the project will be in the range of $5.2 million to $5.5 million once bid, Cutler said,
“[The 5.8 million] is a worst-case scenario,” Cutler said.
Cutler said the city hopes to advertise the project for bid this April or May, with construction starting in early summer.
City Councilwoman Sissi Bruch asked what, if any, capital projects would see reduced funding if the council approved the increase in requested money.
City Chief Financial Officer Byron Olson said the $134,217 was not set aside for any specific project.
“We wouldn't give up any currently identified projects,” Olson said.
“This is one of the few chances we have to leverage this money at basically four-to-one.”
The majority of the cost increases were in four separate areas, Cutler explained.
The first is design changes to make the bridge meet state stormwater requirements, design elements not included when the project application initially was submitted to Transportation.
“It was an error on [the part of] staff who put together the [funding] application,” Cutler said.
The second involves the need to replace the traffic signals at the intersection of Race Street and Lauridsen Boulevard, east of the bridge, because of necessary design changes in the geometry of the bridge and the intersection, Cutler said.
Earlier designs called for moving and reusing the existing traffic signals, he added.
The third change will add an additional sidewalk and a guardrail to the northwest side of the intersection, Cutler explained, while the fourth calls for additional Race Street surface work extending 250 feet north and 100 feet south.
The driving surface of the new bridge will be 18 feet wider than the existing one and will include a center turn lane on the eastbound side, two 12-foot-wide vehicle lanes and two 5-foot-wide bike lanes.
Reporter Jeremy Schwartz can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 5074, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.