Clallam commissioners to call for bids on Towne Road next week

$2.7 million project to be funded with grant, road fund, real estate tax

PORT ANGELES — After more than 15 years, the Clallam County commissioners will call for bids April 9 on the Towne Road project.

“This started long before I was ever a commissioner,” said Randy Johnson, who first took office in 2017.

The estimated $2.7 million project, Phase 3 of the Lower Dungeness River Floodplain Restoration and Levee/Road Realignment, will be funded with a $1.5 million grant, $800,000 from the county road fund and $400,000 from the county’s real estate excise tax fund.

The project estimate includes a 10 percent contingency fund and chip sealing the roadway this year and next.

“You have done a good job of being creative in putting together alternatives, and I appreciate it,” Commissioner Mark Ozias told county engineer Joe Donisi and Bruce Emery, the director of the county’s Department of Community Development, noting the numerous potential design changes, including the replacement of a guardrail with a 6-inch curb and elevated recreational path.

Project updates can be viewed at https://www.clallamcountywa.gov/1764/DungenessTowne-Rd-Levee-Updates.

The narrow portion of the roadway along the levee will consist of about 350 feet (about 9 percent) of the 3,700-foot project, including a 14-foot-wide northbound lane, a 10-foot-wide southbound lane and a 6- to 8-foot-wide trail surface, according to the online project update.

For the 3,700-foot connector, an 8-foot to 10-foot recreational trail along most of it is anticipated, followed by a 350-foot section that will be down to 6 feet.

Towne Road is 2.85 miles long and connects Old Olympic Highway to Anderson Road. It is one of four north-south roads that serve the greater Dungeness area.

The overall project began in 2007 with the purchase and demolition of two houses, 2133 Towne Road and 2747 Towne Road, the latter of which was owned by then-Clallam County Commissioner Steve Tharinger, who now serves in the state House of Representatives. Its goal is to restore the ecological processes of the Lower Dungeness River, according to the Salmon Recovery Portal website.

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Reporter Brian Gawley can be reached by email at brian.gawley@peninsuladailynews.com.

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