There was once a place on Nichols Street where the sidewalk ends. And there, crews placed continuous paths along Nichols, A Street and Web Street.
The roughly four-month construction project in Friday Harbor is scheduled to wrap up the week of Oct. 16. In addition to sidewalks, the project included installing new street lights, a water main, roadway and water and sewer line connections.
On Oct. 5, a local woman drove through this construction, striking a flagger and several vehicles. The construction crew stopped her and she was booked into jail for vehicular assault and hit and run with injury. The flagger was transported to the Peace Island Medical Center for treatment. Check the Journal for updates on this issue.
According to Duncan Wilson, Town of Friday Harbor administrator, the construction fixed need repairs in town.
“Web Street was in the heart of our downtown but had inadequate roadway and pedestrian amenities,” he said. “The [state] provided the grant monies that covered about 90 percent of the total cost.”
The initial project bid was for $1.38 million and the Washington State Transportation Board provided two grants for $1.28 million. The rest was paid through the town’s street capital account.
Wilson said the contractor worked hard to prevent businesses from closing due to construction, though he is aware of some that didn’t open for a day or two when access to their buildings was blocked. He added that the Washington State Ferries lots B and C were not affected by construction.
Construction roughly 4 miles north, on Tucker Avenue, is still going strong. The work on Tucker Avenue, from Harbor Street to University Road, started last March.
Wilson said the project is expected to be completed by Nov. 1 and it’s about three months past schedule due to unexpected issues such as finding improperly placed utilities; bedrock that had to be removed; and a lawsuit against the town over property rights surrounding the project that shut down part of construction for almost two weeks.
Improvements to Tucker Avenue include adding new sidewalks, as well as water, sewer and stormwater lines. Crews are also completely rebuilding the street from the base to the asphalt.
Designated bike lanes cannot fit on this narrower, northern stretch of the road, said Wilson. Instead of bike lanes, pavement will be marked with painted bicycle signs to indicate the road must be shared by bicyclists and motorists.
The first phase of the project ran from spring 2016 to that August, from Guard Street to Harbor, and includes new roadways, sidewalks, bike lanes, curbs, gutters and streetlights.
Wilson explained that construction on Tucker was necessary because of the area’s older, failing roadways, as well as water and sewer lines.
“There is a high level of traffic on Tucker and there were no sidewalks for pedestrians,” he said. “[The] lack of sidewalks was not safe and the sidewalks will help children and adults that walk to school or downtown.”