Clallam County rejects levee project bid

Commissioners cite $13.8M cost

PORT ANGELES — The Clallam County commissioners have rejected the lone bid for the Phase 2 Lower Dungeness River Floodplain Restoration & Levee/Realignment Project, citing the high cost.

More bids will be requested after as-yet-undetermined adjustments are made.

“We’re hopeful we will work something out with the Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe that will be a win/win,” Acting County Engineer Joe Donisi said Thursday.

“There are a lot of alternatives being investigated, so we are honing in on those.”

The county Department of Community Development received only one bid for the project on June 7. The bid from Delhur Industries Inc. was for $13.8 million. That exceeded the engineer’s estimate by 47 percent and also was more than the project’s grant funding.

Donisi had told the commissioners on Tuesday, when the decision to reject the bid was made, that the county engineers will change the bid package and seek additional funding. A temporary levee is open to discussion, he said.

“We discussed ways to bring it down. We are open to leaving out items, but we don’t want to redo the bid package.”

The Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe’s restoration planner, Randy Johnson, had urged the commissioners not to reject the bid during an earlier general public comment session.

County Commissioner Mark Ozias asked if the primary concern was cost or other factors.

Donisi said inflation was a factor, but so was synchronizing construction schedules. Some difficult items also were inserted into the project, so the bid should be rejected and the project changed, he said.

The project will include closing Towne Road in both directions between the Dungeness Valley Creamery and the Old Dungeness Schoolhouse for more than a year.

Once the new levee is built, the new Towne Road will be on top of the levee and a section of Towne Road will be removed as part of the restoration of the floodplain.

Phase 1 of the project began last September with a $5.5 million contract awarded to Scarsella Brothers, Inc., based in Kent.

The first phase included the construction of the new levee and embankment along the road, which will allow the river to flow through its historic floodplain.

The Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe and the North Olympic Lead Entity for Salmon have collaborated on the project.

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

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