After about a decade in the making, San Juan residents are one step closer to using a street that connects Pear Point Road and Turn Point Road.
On Oct. 23, the San Juan County Council unanimously approved allocating funds through 2024 to build the new street, as well as 24 other local roads, marine facilities and trail construction projects in the county’s six-year Transportation Improvement Program, known as TIP.
The connector road project, which was first discussed as early as 2009, is expected to total $710,000; $10,000 is planned to be spent in 2019, $500,000 is planned to be spent after 2024 and $200,000 has been spent previously. Road work is scheduled to recommence in February.
The connector road will be built to divert traffic off of the narrow Warbass Road, including fuel trucks that arrive on barges at Turn Point’s Shipyard Cove Marina. When the truck drivers exit the marina, they will be able to turn around at a U-turn on Turn Point Road, which is currently being constructed, and take the new connecting street to Pear Point to reach the town.
That new street, called Missing Mountain Road, will also provide another access to a nearby proposed affordable housing neighborhood. The road will run along that neighborhood and the gravel pit.
The gravel pit is a defunct mining area off of Pear Point Road that islanders walk for recreation. Public works crews recently relocated an eastern portion of the pit’s trail about 70 feet west to make room for the new road. Maddie Ovenell, the director of the organization that manages the trail, Island Rec, said the rough-cut of the new path is not open, and the existing gravel pit trail should be used until the connector road is built.
Overall, TIP projects totaled roughly $13.38 million through 2024. County staff expect to acquire about $6.6 million in grants while using county road funds for the rest. San Juan County Engineer Colin Huntemer stressed that the TIP is a planning tool, so the figures are likely to slightly change.
The remaining San Juan Island TIP projects and their totals through 2024 are: Beaverton Valley Road culvert replacement for $200,000; Douglas Road improvements for $2.6 million; Rouleau Road improvements for $100,000; San Juan Valley Road improvements for $200,000; and Lawson Road intersection for $100,000.
The Orcas Island projects are: Orcas Road improvements for $2.2 million; West Beach Road culvert replacement for $720,000; upper Deer Harbor Road improvements for $510,000; Prune Alley Road improvements for $3.7 million; A Street Road improvements for $300,000; Haven Road pedestrian improvements for $75,000; Obstruction Pass Road intersection for $100,000; Orcas Landing marine facility for $50,000; West Sound marine facility for $225,000; Enchanted Forest Road trail for $100,000; Lover’s Lane trail for $100,000; and Crescent Beach Road trail for $100,000.
The Lopez projects are: Agate Beach County Park Road relocations for $250,000; Center Road improvements for $300,000; Dill Road intersection for $100,000; Hunter Bay marine facility for $225,000; and Lopez Road trail for $100,000.
Mooring buoys for any area in the county will be purchased for $60,000, and converting county gravel roads to chip seal is expected to cost $900,000.