SEQUIM — A portion of Washington Street in front of most of Sequim’s box stores will receive a makeover this September.
City of Sequim staff announced last week the city received a federal Surface Transportation Block Grant worth $633,180 from Clallam County’s 2021 Regional Federal Fiscal Year fund.
The fund’s purpose is to overlay pavement on West Washington Street from the River Road roundabout to the Ninth Avenue roundabout, Sequim Public Works Director Matt Klontz said.
This portion of Washington Street is the lowest quality of pavement and was last paved in 2002, he said.
The to-be paved portion’s pavement condition index (PCI), a national rating engineers use to estimate a road’s condition based on various factors, is 56, Klontz said, while the rest of Washington Street is 71.
“Textbooks tell you that asphalt roadways need to be overlaid every 15 to 20 years,” he said. “We’re catching this section near the 20-year milestone so the project’s timing is good and fits with what they teach you at engineering school.”
Klontz added he feels this is the optimum time for paving, as there is a lot of cracking and ruts beginning to form on this portion of Washington Street.
“If we let it go much longer, we feel it’s going to really fall apart,” he said.
With the project going from one roundabout to another, Klontz said there will be some localized pavement repair inside the roundabouts but no work on concrete curbs, sidewalks or planters.
City staff applied about three months ago for the funding, Klontz said, with the federal funding given to Clallam County for distribution.
Clallam County commissioners are tasked with delegating and deciding where the funding goes to local municipalities’ requests, he said.
City staff report the project costs about $732,000 with the grant paying 86.5 percent, and the city 13.5 percent, or about $98,820.
To pave all of Washington Street, Klontz said it would cost the city about $6 million and they would need to upgrade some curb ramps and sidewalks for accessibility requirements.
He said city staff opted to break paving into segments because of budget constraints.
“To do it all, we would need significant help in funding,” Klontz said.
The paving project will go to bid this summer, Klontz said, with paving likely over a few weeks in September.
He estimated some or all of the project will need to be done at night due to traffic flow, but more details will come as the project progresses.
City staff expect some minor delays in accessing some of the retail areas with more information to come.
The project was identified in the city’s 2021 – 2026 Capital Improvement Program for its high volume of use by vehicles, Klontz said.
For more information about Sequim Public Works, call 360-683-4908.
Matthew Nash is a reporter with the Olympic Peninsula News Group, which is composed of Sound Publishing newspapers Peninsula Daily News, Sequim Gazette and Forks Forum. Reach him at [email protected].