A gate and concrete barricades block the north end of Towne Road as it reaches the new Dungeness River levee on Tuesday northwest of Sequim. (Keith Thorpe/Peninsula News)

A gate and concrete barricades block the north end of Towne Road as it reaches the new Dungeness River levee on Tuesday northwest of Sequim. (Keith Thorpe/Peninsula News)

Residents provide Towne Road feedback

More than 30 express opinions on project

PORT ANGELES — Some want Towne Road in Dungeness to be a trail. Others want it to be a road. Some want the project delayed pending further study.

Thirty-one people spent about 90 minutes Tuesday telling the Clallam County commissioners how they felt about the proposed project, which is tentatively set to go out to bid later this month.

Commissioners will receive an update at their Monday work session, review proposed changes at their March 25 work session, then have a formal call for bids at their regular meeting at 10 a.m. March 26 in the commissioners meeting room in the Clallam County Courthouse, 223 E. Fourth St.

“It’s a trail. It’s a road. It’s always been a road for 100 years,” said Sara Squyres of Sequim. “If people want to make a trail, I think it’s great.

“The tribe can do it. Private people can do it. But this road has been planned for many years to not be closed for even one day. So continue the project as planned.”

Eric Fehrmann of Sequim agreed.

“Go ahead and get it finished. We’ve been talking about this for two years now. Actually, we’ve been talking about it for 15 years now. I hope and I pray down the road you’ve chosen to get this project done.”

Steve Kohler of Sequim said he has lived in the Dungeness area for 39 years and requested that the Towne Road dike extension not be paved.

“I think you’ve heard months of testimony and comments about the environmental, social and economic reasons to not pave the road/dike,” he said.

Yvonne Yokota, who lives on Towne Road, advocated for maintaining the levy as a trail with access for emergencies and farm equipment.

“After spending millions of dollars in this area to restore the Lower Dungeness River for salmon habitat, it seems counter-intuitive to place a low-priority road through the middle of the marsh wetlands area there,” she said.

Some speakers wanted to take a different approach.

McKenna Eggers said she is a University of Washington student from Seattle who attended the meeting remotely as part of the Washington State Public Interest Research Group.

The group wanted to propose putting a pause on the project, she said.

“It will set a precedent for how counties deal with environmental challenges and whether they listen to their constituents,” she said.

Madelyn Pickens of Sequim said the pause proposed by the Jamestown S’Klallam tribe would be a good compromise.

According to the online project update, the narrow portion will consist of about 350 feet (about 9 percent) of the 3,700-foot project, including a 14-foot-wide northbound lane, a 10-foot-wide southbound lane and a 6- to 8-foot-wide trail surface.

An intermediate portion will consist of about 850 feet with a 14-foot-wide northbound lane, a 12-foot-wide southbound lane, and an 8- to 10-foot-wide trail surface, the update stated.

The majority of the project (68 percent) will have two 14-foot-wide travel lanes and a 10- to 12-foot-plus-wide trail surface. The trail surface will provide a nexus between the North Levee and the River’s Edge Levee to the south.

Project updates can be viewed at https://www.clallamcountywa.gov/1764/Dungeness Towne-Rd-Levee-Updates.


Reporter Brian Gawley can be reached at brian.gawley@peninsulanews.us.

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