Clallam to buy right of way to widen Old Olympic Highway in Agnew; $750,000 state grant to cover most of project

AGNEW — Clallam County lawmakers today will consider buying 0.09 acre of right of way from the Clallam County Public Utilities District to widen a 0.75-mile segment of Old Olympic Highway in Agnew.

The $7,470 price tag correlates to a rate of $83,000 per acre.

The county is widening the road in segments to 40 feet — enough space for two 12-foot lanes and 8-foot shoulders on both sides.

PUD transmission poles line the north side of the highway from Matson and Spring roads to the intersections of Barr and Gunn roads.

Current plans would shift the centerline of the east-west thoroughfare about 12 feet to the south to avoid power poles.

State grant

A $750,000 state grant will cover most of the $1.2 million project, which is listed in the county’s six-year transportation improvement program.

In the past, the county has granted the PUD easement to install power poles on county land.

Commissioner Mike Chapman directed County Administrator Jim Jones to contact the PUD to find out “if there’s something we have that they need.

“Maybe we can work out a trade,” Chapman said.

In today’s board meeting, the three commissioners will consider an agreement with the Feiro Marine Life Center for community education programs for children.

The county will pay a contractor a $26,000 fixed quarterly fee to support outreach activities at the marine center and in classrooms of the Port Angeles, Sequim and Crescent school districts and home-school groups through 2010-2011.

It will target fourth- and fifth-graders and some high school students working on special projects.

Commissioner Mike Doherty said he supports “anything that helps ocean literacy.”

The funds are already allocated in the Clallam Marine Resources Committee budget.

After the regular board meeting, the commissioners will hold public hearings on an ordinance to expand the Sequim Urban Growth Area to include Battelle, the company that operates the Pacific Northwest lab’s marine operations facility on Sequim Bay, and a commercial forest rezone for applicant Paul & Paul Partnership.

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Reporter Rob Ollikainen can be reached at 360-417-3537 or at rob.ollikainen@peninsuladailynews.com.

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