Traffic makes its way up South Lincoln Street in Port Angeles on Wednesday, March 4, 2020. (Keith Thorpe/Peninsula Daily News)

Traffic makes its way up South Lincoln Street in Port Angeles on Wednesday, March 4, 2020. (Keith Thorpe/Peninsula Daily News)

Engineering deal OK’d for Lincoln Street project

Project aims to improve safety on busy street

PORT ANGELES — One of the city’s busiest arterials will be safer for motorists, bicyclists and pedestrians after South Lincoln Street is reconfigured in 2021.

The Port Angeles City Council approved Tuesday a $217,981 professional services agreement with Parametrix for preliminary engineering for planned improvements between First and Eighth streets.

“Lincoln Street is a pretty important corridor for us,” Public Works and Utilities Director Thomas Hunter said.

The $1.38 million, grant-funded project includes dedicated bike lanes, wheelchair-accessible curb ramps, shorter crosswalks, flashing pedestrian crosswalk signs and a potentially lower speed limit, Hunter said.

A traffic signal at Third and Lincoln streets also will be “contemplated,” Hunter said.

“It’s a great improvement for our community,” Hunter told the City Council.

The city received a $1.28 million grant from the state Department of Transportation’s Pedestrian and Bicycle Program to fund construction of the Lincoln Street improvements in 2021.

The city will provide a $100,000 match.

Hunter said there were two fatal vehicle vs. pedestrian collisions on South Lincoln Street between Third and Fourth streets between 2012 and 2016.

“Improved safety measures are necessary for all modes of transportation,” Hunter said in a memo to the council.

Parametrix was determined to be the most qualified of the three engineering firms that responded to the city’s request for qualifications, Hunter said.

According to the request for qualifications, a reduced speed limit of 25 mph will be considered. The present speed limit is 30 mph.

“Lincoln Street (U.S. Highway 101) is a principal arterial serving downtown Port Angeles and commercial land uses at the margin of the downtown core and serves the Clallam County Courthouse, Safeway shopping center, City Hall and a mixture of other retail businesses,” the request for qualifications said.

“A mixture of high pedestrian volumes, closely-spaced, two-way, wide commercial driveways, a high ridership bus stop and a major shopping destination create a hazardous condition for pedestrians and bicyclists crossing Lincoln Street and circling to and through this location.”

The City Council put a focus on multi-modal transportation in its strategic plan last year.

“I’m excited to see this,” Mayor Kate Dexter said at the meeting.

“I know there are a lot of things that are going to need to happen on Lincoln, but this seems like a really good start.”

Last December, a 50-foot section of a 24-inch concrete sewer main collapsed under South Lincoln Street between Fourth and Fifth streets, requiring an emergency repair.

Bruch and Bruch Construction of Port Angeles repaired the 1915 sewer at a cost of $152,000, Hunter has said.

“It’s likely that we will identify other potential issues in Lincoln just because we will be going out there and doing that geotechnical work,” Hunter said Tuesday.

Other business

In other action, the City Council approved the $191,706 purchase of a wet well mounted pump station to replace Pump Station No. 3 near Hill Street and Marine Drive.

The existing 1969 pump station suffered a “catastrophic failure” during a windstorm and county-wide power outage in December 2018.

“The pump station was submerged with water and the equipment on the interior, which ordinarily would not come into contact with effluent or rainwater, was submerged,” Hunter said.

“The result of that was that city crews had to bypass that station and constantly maintain it in a manner that’s not typical for our industry.”

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

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