Port of Port Townsend denied alternative bid process for jetty

Traditional process could go out in August

Jim Pivarnik

Jim Pivarnik

PORT TOWNSEND — The state Department of Enterprise Services denied the Port of Port Townsend approval of an alternate bidding process for the Point Hudson jetty renovation project, but officials plan to push forward on a traditional path with an eye toward completion before next February.

Jim Pivarnik, the port’s interim executive director, said Friday the Project Review Committee’s denial during a meeting Thursday in Kent was because of the scope of the renovation project rather than its $3 million price tag.

“They didn’t believe the project met the criteria of the state,” Pivarnik said.

Traditionally, when a government body designs a project and puts it out for bid, it needs to hire the lowest bidder, Pivarnik said. But the port joined seven other participants who were seeking a different way to have their projects built.

“This is such a complex issue because of the historic nature,” Pivarnik said of the failing Point Hudson jetty. “What we would like to do is solicit proposals and select based on timeline and how they would handle the historic issues.”

While it wasn’t a successful bid, Pivarnik said one of the panel members expressed an interest in spending time with port commissioners and to provide tips should they apply in the future.

Now port administrators will turn to the traditional route. Pivarnik said the project is 20 percent designed — a phase that costs $150,000 — and they will need an additional 5 percent in the next 30 days to apply for permits in May.

“We’ve got all the environmental data, depths and eel grass locations, and the [Army] Corps of Engineers has already reviewed the site.”

If that goes according to plan, the port will go out to bid in late August and have a contractor in place to begin work immediately following the Wooden Boat Festival in mid-September, Pivarnik said.

Work would be required to be finished by Feb. 15, 2020, he said.

Pivarnik added there are only four or five contractors in the state that can do this project.

“Most contractors think it’s a doable project in four months,” he said. “It’s an aggressive schedule, but I think we can do it.

“Time is going to be of the essence to make sure we have the weather windows we need to complete the project.”

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Jefferson County Managing Editor Brian McLean can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 56052, or at [email protected]

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