A vehicle crosses the McDonald Creek bridge on Old Olympic Highway near Agnew. (Keith Thorpe/Peninsula Daily News)

A vehicle crosses the McDonald Creek bridge on Old Olympic Highway near Agnew. (Keith Thorpe/Peninsula Daily News)

Clallam County awards $3.07 million bid for McDonald Creek bridge

PORT ANGELES — Clallam County has awarded a bid to a Tacoma contractor to replace the narrow Old Olympic Highway bridge over McDonald Creek.

Commissioners Bill Peach and Randy Johnson voted Tuesday — with Commissioner Mark Ozias excused — to award a $3.07 million bid to Orion Marine Contractors Inc.

Orion Marine Contractors, which is part of the Houston-based Orion Marine Group, submitted the lowest of seven bids that commissioners opened in a public meeting May 9.

Bruch &Bruch Construction Inc. of Port Angeles had the second-lowest bid at $3.10 million.

The board is required to award contracts to the lowest responsible bidder.

The engineer’s estimate was $3.8 million.

Peach asked County Engineer Ross Tyler whether he knew of Orion’s work.

“We have never worked with them here in the county,” Tyler said.

“But we, of course, did the reference check and researched their projects. Their most recent stuff is some fairly significant bridge installations in Florida, in the Keys and stuff like that. They appear to be fully capable of the job.”

The contractor is expected to begin the eight-month project in mid- to late June, Tyler said.

Old Olympic Highway will be closed at the Agnew-area project site while crews remove the 24-foot-wide 1957 bridge and replace it with a 40-foot-wide modern bridge.

“The closure of [Old] Olympic Highway is going to be fairly significant,” Tyler said.

U.S. Highway 101 will be used as a detour during construction.

The exact date for the beginning of the closure will be announced after a pre-construction conference between the road department and Orion Marine Contractors. Tyler said he expected that meeting to occur within the next “week or two.”

“Once we find out … how they’re going to pursue the project, then we can tell the public exactly when the closure is going to happen,” Tyler said.

The new bridge will be taller than the existing bridge. Both approaches and the bridge itself will match the width of nearby sections of Old Olympic Highway.

About 70 percent of the cost will be covered by the county and the other 30 percent will be covered by federal funds.

In other board action Tuesday, commissioners approved a letter of support for Pennies for Quarters supporting its efforts to end veterans’ homelessness.

Among other projects, Pennies for Quarters is trying to build a community of tiny houses for veterans on a property in Port Angeles.

“I know that we’re one of many organizations on the Peninsula that are working toward benefiting and helping the veterans,” said Matthew Rainwater, president and founder of Pennies for Quarters.

“And I just think it’s phenomenal that there’s so many people in this area, including the commissioners, that are supporting this.”

For information on Pennies for Quarters, click on www.penniesforquarters.org.

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Reporter Rob Ollikainen can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 56450, or at rollikainen@peninsuladailynews.com.

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