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County wins $2.5 million grant for Mount Baker Road project

The state County Road Administration Board has awarded San Juan County the largest grant it has ever given the county.

The board’s $2.5 million grant will fund the reconstruction of Mount Baker Road on Orcas Island, between mile posts 0 and 1.1, the county communications office reported.

The project includes acquiring additional right of way, widening the pavement surface, adding shoulders on each side of the road, and making drainage improvements. This section of road is used as a truck bypass between North Beach Road and Terrill Beach Road. Public Works engineers expect that this upgrade will make the road safer.

The grant requires a 10 percent county match, about $250,000. County Engineer John Van Lund anticipates that about two years of planning, design and permitting work will be required before constructions can begin in 2011, the county communications office reported.

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