SEQUIM — Visitors of the city’s busiest park started driving on a new path this week.
City officials opened on Monday the new access road to Carrie Blake Community Park between the Sequim Skate Park and Trinity United Methodist Church, just south of the former entrance.
Construction by Northern Land Development of Kingston began in August under a $504,000 contract plus a 5 percent contingency.
The former entrance, located immediately north of the intersection of East Cedar Street and North Blake Avenue, was closed to vehicle traffic Monday for safety concerns between the playgrounds.
City staff said the project includes a pedestrian path and vehicle access to the recently renovated Guy Cole Convention Center, Sequim Dog Park, baseball fields, playgrounds and Sequim Skate Park.
Part of the project included extending a water main into the park and constructing an earthen pad for the future construction of eight pickleball courts located east of the skate park.
Members of the Sequim Picklers and its Pickleball Facility Committee raised most of the funds for the courts, which are scheduled for construction tentatively in 2018.
The new entrance and courts follow the city’s Carrie Blake Community Park Master Plan, which includes a number of projects such as extending the new access road to North Rhodefer Road with a roundabout in the middle to prevent speeding.
Consultants wrote in the plan that relocating the entrance would allow for unrestricted flow in Bell Creek, eliminate flooding and reduce traffic issues west of the park.
Some of the many projects in the long-term plan include widening and placing asphalt for the Olympic Discovery Trail, continuing maintenance on the Albert Haller Playfields, adding four tennis courts and redesigning the skate park.
As construction continues, city staff encourages park visitors to follow detour signage and traffic signs during the transition between entrances.
Funding for the project comes from park impact fees, the real estate excise tax fund, utility funds and the general fund, city staff said, and any unspent money budgeted for the pickleball courts will be applied to its next phase of construction.
For the new road and pickleball courts, the BMX park was removed.
For more information, call the city’s Public Works Department at 360-683-4908.
Matthew Nash is a reporter with the Olympic Peninsula News Group, which is composed of Sound Publishing newspapers Peninsula Daily News, Sequim Gazette and Forks Forum. Reach him at [email protected].