PORT TOWNSEND — Jefferson County officials say it will cost $3.5 million to reinforce structural defects in the courthouse clock tower.
County Public Works Director Frank Gifford said the clock tower cannot withstand 80 mph sustained winds and therefore must be upgraded.
During a meeting last week, Gifford detailed the necessary improvements required to bring the clock tower up to code.
The tower would be anchored to the ground, a 3-foot thick concrete pad would be poured across the basement floor and a one-foot thick steel-reinforced concrete wall would be built against the existing brick masonry of the tower, located in the county courthouse at 1820 Jefferson St.
“The problem is the building doesn’t have the ability to flex and withstand the forces,” Gifford said. “There’s no ductability in the mortar.”
The courthouse appears to be made of quality brick and mortar, but that’s just the outer shell,” Gifford said.This full report appears in the Sunday Peninsula Daily News, on sale throughout Clallam and Jefferson counties. Click onto “Subscribe” to order your PDN delivered to your home or office.