It’s a little safer to walk and bike along on Tucker Avenue, now that sidewalks and bike lanes have been added from Guard Street to Harbor.
“Ensuring the safety of pedestrians has always been my goal,” said Friday Harbor Mayor Carrie Lacher.
A ribbon cutting ceremony took place on Thursday, Dec. 8 at the Sandpiper condos on Tucker Avenue to celebrate the completion of the project’s first phase.
Construction on phase one started last spring and ended at the end of August. The road was repaved and sidewalks, bike lanes, curbs, gutters, stormwater facilities, trees along the street and light poles with LED fixtures were added.
“There was no continuous walking route from the mobile home park at the end of Tucker Avenue back to town,” said Town Administrator Duncan Wilson. “It was dangerous.”
The same was true for bicyclists, pedaling back and forth from Roche Harbor, with no bike lanes.
Phase two of the project will start this spring and add the same amenities as phase one, from Harbor Street to the end of the town limits at University Road. The total construction area for the project is about a mile long.
Designated bike lanes cannot fit on the narrower stretch of phase two. Instead, pavement will be marked with painted bicycle signs to indicate the road must be shared by bicyclists and motorists.
The town received the $900,000 grant from the Washington State Transportation Improvement Board for phase one in November 2014, and spent 2015 planning the project with engineers. The town fronted $350,000 for phase one.
Phase two is funded by a $1.3 million grant from the federal government and TIB contributed $200,000. It is expected to be finished by next September.