Maintenance contract awarded for troubled ODT segment

PORT ANGELES — The Port Angeles City Council has awarded a maintenance contract to help the Olympic Discovery Trail survive the winter storm season.

The council voted unanimously Tuesday to award a two-year, not-to-exceed $200,000 contract to 2-Grade, LLC of Port Angeles for on-call maintenance on the heavily-trafficked, 4.5-mile section of trail from City Pier to Morse Creek.

The Waterfront Trail section of the Olympic Discovery Trail has “direct exposure to high-energy tidal wave action, is susceptible to landslides from the adjacent bluff and experiences high-volume stormwater runoff during large rain events,” said Thomas Hunter, Port Angeles Public Works and Utilities director.

“Due to the severity of the hazards that this area encounters, and a myriad of other issues including existing capacity for city staff, this contract is necessary and is proposed to run through 2022,” Hunter told the City Council on Tuesday.

The has city secured a five-year hydraulic work permit from the state Department of Fish and Wildlife for armoring and revetment repairs, stormwater ditch and culvert clearing and trail surface repairs, Hunter said.

“This is implementing the capital facilities plan maintenance that we approved earlier this year, I believe around $600,000 total, over the five- or six-year period that we’re in now,” Council member Lindsey Schromen-Wawrin said in a virtual meeting Tuesday.

“It’s a very significant amount that we’re contributing.”

The city’s 2022-2027 Capital Facilitates Plan includes $593,000 for ODT repairs.

“Thanks to staff for moving nimbly on this and getting it out to bid and getting this back to the council,” Council member Mike French said.

“It sounds like we got a really great bid, and, as Lindsey said, this is really significant funding.”

The waterfront trail was closed east of Ennis Creek for several months in early 2020 due to storm damage.

The council had a robust public debate over the future of the trail during several well-attended virtual meetings last spring.

Most controversial was a long-term idea to build an overland route though Gales Addition as a backup to the waterfront trail.

Ultimately, the seven-member council voted unanimously to prioritize the improvements, repairs and maintenance of the existing trail between City Pier and Morse Creek.

“I know that there’s probably going to be more big-picture discussions and work to do on this segment of the trail,” French said Tuesday.

The waterfront trail section of the ODT recorded 382,000 trips in 2020 and brings in more than $2 million annually to the local economy though tourism and events like the North Olympic Discovery Marathon, according to a council resolution.

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Reporter Rob Ollikainen can be reached at [email protected] dailynews.com.

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