Traffic makes its way up Race Street in Port Angeles on Thursday, June 25, 2020. A section of the street between First and Olympus streets is slated for the installation of a new trail and landscaping beginning next year. (Keith Thorpe/Peninsula Daily News)

Traffic makes its way up Race Street in Port Angeles on Thursday, June 25, 2020. A section of the street between First and Olympus streets is slated for the installation of a new trail and landscaping beginning next year. (Keith Thorpe/Peninsula Daily News)

Grant in hand for Race Street renovation

Work to begin next summer

PORT ANGELES — The city of Port Angeles has secured a $2 million grant for the reconstruction of South Race Street.

A multi-purpose trail will be built on the west side of the existing right-of-way and will connect the Olympic Discovery Trail (ODT) to the Olympic National Park Visitor Center.

Construction on the half-mile segment of Race Street from Eighth to Olympus streets is scheduled to begin next summer.

“Everything west of that centerline is going to become a multi-modal transportation facility with open space and a shared-use trail,” Ben Braudrick, associate planner and project manager, told the City Council last week.

“When completed, Race Street will provide connection and access to many points of interest, a green gateway to Olympic National Park, a central cross-town transportation route for all transportation types and act as a catalyst for economic development within the corridor.”

In a Thursday interview, Braudrick said the second phase of the Race Street project between First and Eighth streets would likely be completed in 2023.

Council members voted by unanimous consent June 16 to accept a $2 million Federal Lands Access Program grant to construct the southern segment from Eighth to Olympus streets.

The $3.95 million Race Street Complete Street design and construction of Phase 1 is entirely grant-funded, according to a City Council memo.

State Department of Transportation toll credits will be used to cover a required $135,000 city match, the memo said.

“This is great work,” Council member Mike French said in the virtual council meeting.

“We’re looking at a project that’s 100 percent grant funded that’s going to transform one of the major avenues in our city both for pedestrian-bike use as well as economically.”

Braudrick said the Race Street project stemmed from a 2009 American Institute of Architects study that proposed a transportation network based on “mobility diversity and harmony.”

The city received a $400,000 design grant for the Race Street project in 2014 and hired a consultant in 2017 to complete 30 percent of the design, Braudrick said.

Automobiles make the curve on Race Street between Lauridsen Boulevard and Park Avenue in Port Angeles on Thursday, June 25, 2020. (Keith Thorpe/Peninsula Daily News)

Automobiles make the curve on Race Street between Lauridsen Boulevard and Park Avenue in Port Angeles on Thursday, June 25, 2020. (Keith Thorpe/Peninsula Daily News)

Last April, the City Council approved a $450,267 professional services agreement with Exeltech Consulting Inc. for full design.

“The transportation corridor connects so many things within and outside of Port Angeles,” Braudrick said of Race Street.

“It is the sole access to Hurricane Ridge and provides connection to two elementary schools, the Boys & Girls Club, two regional-scale parks, Peninsula College, Olympic Medical Center, the Port Angeles Fine Arts Center and so on.”

Braudrick said the city received “a lot of community engagement” from the PA Forward Committee and others on the Race Street project.

French, who had served on PA Forward, said the ODT connection to the national park would be a “huge deal for tourism.”

“From an economic standpoint,” French added, “this is the kind of project that can really transform that area economically, enhancing that space for businesses that are existing and creating opportunities for new businesses to move, where appropriate, onto that section.”

Braudrick said the project would improve safety for all transportation types.

“It will transform Race Street into a linear park and greenway between the Strait (of Juan de Fuca) and the (Olympic) National Park, and represent the north-south backbone, or a foundation, for our city-wide multi-modal transportation network,” Braudrick said.

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Reporter Rob Ollikainen can be reached at rollikainen@peninsuladailynews.com.

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