Huge downtown Port Townsend project to wrap up in August
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Surveyor Brian Van Aller, standing left, discusses the Quincy Street Esplanade project with Tyler Johnson, who is managing the project for the city. All work is scheduled for completion in August. -- Photo by Charlie Bermant/Peninsula Daily News

By Charlie Bermant
Peninsula Daily News

PORT TOWNSEND — A renovation of the area adjacent to City Hall and the Northwest Maritime Center is scheduled to be finished in August, wrapping up more than three years of adjustments and improvements.

Now known as the Civic District, the area north of Quincy Street between Water Street and Port Townsend Bay will soon become an area where people can enjoy the water.

“It feels good to finish,” City Engineer David Peterson said.

“It helps to make downtown more vital, and will bring people to the waterfront.”

The last phase of the project includes finishing the paved area behind Elevated Ice Cream, installing a one-way thoroughfare parallel to the waterfront while completing the paving of the area that is compatible with the concrete surface that was installed in 2012.

That surface replaced the Tidal Bowl, a piece of conceptual art that was meant to provide a window into marine life but instead became a repository for maritime debris.

The final phase of the Waterfront Esplanade Improvement Project began on May 13 and was awarded to HBHansen Construction of Lynden for a $607,000 bid.

The funding originated from an allocation from Jefferson County’s Public Infrastructure Fund.

The project includes the repaving of the end of Quincy Street in front of the Clam Cannery, and will result in a vehicle-turnaround area.

This construction required excavation of an unstable area clamshells were used as landfill while the cannery was in operation.

The Quincy Dock is the property of the Port of Port Townsend, which intends to remove the transfer span beams over the next month, according to Larry Crockett, the port’s executive director.

The dock’s structure, which is in disrepair, will be left in place and will serve as a nesting place for birds and other marine life for the time being, Crockett said.

“We are going to leave this in place in case we ever want to do anything with the property,” he said.

“If we tore it down we’d never get the permits to build something new but we can get permits to repair an existing structure.”

The renovation of Pope Marine Park began in 2010 and included the refurbishing of the Cotton Building, formerly the Port Townsend police station, and the installation of a piece of public art, Gerard Tsutokawa’s “Salish Sea Circle,” in 2011.

In 2012, the paving of Pope Marine Park was begun, with the completion scheduled for this year.

Elevated Ice Cream co-owner David McCulloch is glad to see the project’s end.

“There have been some challenges, but the city is doing their best to get this finished.”

The project won’t be finished in time for the free weekly Concerts on the Dock series, which begins July 11 and continues until Aug. 29.

Main Street Executive Director said she did not expect the construction to affect the concert presentations.

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Jefferson County Editor Charlie Bermant can be reached at 360-385-2335 or cbermant@peninsuladailynews.com.

Last modified: June 17. 2013 6:42PM
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