Traffic makes its way down Lower Elwha Road west of Port Angeles on Tuesday. (Keith Thorpe/Peninsula Daily News)

Traffic makes its way down Lower Elwha Road west of Port Angeles on Tuesday. (Keith Thorpe/Peninsula Daily News)

Clallam County to upgrade Lower Elwha Road

PORT ANGELES — Lower Elwha Road will be smoother and wider this fall when crews complete the reconstruction of a 0.8-mile segment between Edgewood Drive and Kacee Way.

Clallam County commissioners Tuesday opened six bids from contractors vying to rebuild the southern end of the county road on the western edge of Port Angeles.

Commissioners referred the bids to the public works department for a review and recommendation back to the board.

The winning contractor will realign, regrade, widen and repave the road with hot mix asphalt. Utility lines will be buried as part of the project.

“Everything is going to go underground,” County Engineer Ross Tyler said after the meeting.

The three lowest bids were submitted by Port Angeles contractors.

The lowest bids were from Bruch &Bruch Construction ($1.28 million), Jordan Excavating ($1.34 million) and Del Hur Industries ($1.43 million).

Other bids came from Interwest Construction of Burlington ($1.71 million), Nordland Construction of Port Townsend ($2.32 million) and Rognlins of Aberdeen ($2.58 million).

“The engineer’s estimate for the Lower Elwha Road reconstruction project is $1.4 million, so it looks like our local contractors are right in the ballpark,” Tyler said.

“We expect the contractor to begin with the clearing and grubbing about the middle of May.”

The three-way stop at the intersection of Lower Elwha Road and Kacee Way will be converted into a sweeping left turn for motorists traveling north on Lower Elwha Road.

Drivers heading south on Lower Elwha Road from the Lower Elwha Klallam tribal reservation will still be required to stop at Kacee Way.

The project is funded through the gas tax-supported state Rural Arterial Program and a 10 percent county match.

County officials hope to complete the work in October, Tyler said.

Eight contractors attended a meeting prior to the bid opening, County Administrator Jim Jones said.

Clallam County previously spent $257,500 on right of way and $92,500 on engineering for the Lower Elwha Road reconstruction, according to a resolution initiating the county road project.

Commissioners on Tuesday also initiated a Spruce Railroad Trail segment as a county road project.

Segment B of the Spruce Railroad Trail runs 1.8 miles from the west end of the McFee Tunnel, which is being rehabilitated this year, to the west end of the Daley-Rankin tunnel on the north shore of Lake Crescent. The total cost of the two-year project is $2.41 million.

The Spruce Railroad Trail is being paved and widened and two railroad tunnels are being restored to support the Olympic Discovery Trail.

Segment B is scheduled to be completed in August 2019.

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Reporter Rob Ollikainen can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 56450, or at [email protected] dailynews.com

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