PORT ANGELES — Lauridsen Boulevard is getting a facelift, and a local contractor has been hired for the job.
The Port Angeles City Council has awarded a $933,105 bid to Lakeside Industries for the Lauridsen Boulevard overlay project.
A 0.6-mile section of the road between Lincoln Street and Lauridsen Court near the Peabody Creek bridge will get a new layer of asphalt in the late summer and early fall.
The grant-funded project includes left-turn lanes at Peabody Street, new crosswalks with choker islands and other traffic-calming measures to encourage drivers to obey the 30 mph speed limit and to improve safety for pedestrians and bicyclists.
“When we improve these roads and show pedestrians and bicyclists that we value their safety, that increases use, and that changes driving behavior,” council member Mike French said before the 7-0 vote last Tuesday.
“Drivers are more aware that the crosswalk gets used, and so they don’t approach it with great speed.
“That’s moving in exactly the direction we should be moving in,” French added.
As part of its vote to award a contract to Port Angeles-based Lakeside Industries, the City Council rejected an $89,850 additive bid to install flashing crosswalk signals on Lauridsen Boulevard.
Lakeside was the only bidder, city officials said.
A city crew will install the crosswalk beacons at a later date to save costs, Public Works Director Thomas Hunter told the council.
The flashing crosswalk signs on Lauridsen will be similar to those on Race Street near Civic Field.
City Engineer Jonathan Boehme said Wednesday the overlay project will begin later this month and is scheduled to be finished in October.
Construction will require alternating traffic with flaggers and some complete street closures for paving.
At an well-attended open house on the Lauridsen project in May, Boehme said the boulevard was designed like a highway and that many drivers feel comfortable traveling 50 mph on the corridor.
The choker islands will help calm traffic by squeezing vehicles toward the center of the road. Bicyclists will pass between the islands and the sidewalk.
The project includes 16 wheelchair-accessible sidewalk ramps and a 5-foot-wide bicycle lane on both sides.
The city received a $539,744 state grant to help pay for the Lauridsen Boulevard overlay, Hunter said in a memo to the council.
The city will match the grant with $450,000 in voter-approved Transportation Benefit District funding.
Council member Lindsey Schromen-Wawrin emphasized that the Lauridsen project is primarily an overlay with built-in safety improvements.
“There were a lot of great suggestions [at the open house] about ways to address the conflicts at Peabody and Lauridsen, for example, or other places along Lauridsen,” Schromen-Wawrin said at the council meeting.
“But I think it’s important for folks to know that this is mostly about repaving Lauridsen and doing what we can in the process rather than a redesign of the whole street.”
Reporter Rob Ollikainen can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 56450, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.