Towne Road bid call could be delayed to April

Review of plans moved up

PORT ANGELES — The review session for Towne Road plans has been moved up while the call for bids for the project is likely to be delayed until April.

The project will be reviewed March 18 instead of the original date of March 25, Clallam County commissioners decided Monday after a 40-minute work session on the topic.

“Timewise, I think we are going to slip a bit on our call for bids,” said County Engineer Joe Donisi. “It could be mid-April or it could be early April. We’re hoping to make up a little bit of the time that we lost here with the consultant team.”

The plan was for commissioners to receive an update at their March 4 work session, review proposed changes at their March 25 work session, then have the formal call for bids at their March 26 meeting.

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

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.

“We’re coming along pretty nicely. We really don’t have a full plan set that we can look at and I can say, ‘OK, this is what our timeline is going to be based on,” Donisi said.

“As soon as I get that, hopefully I can get that this week, I’ll be in a better position to be more firm on that date and call for bids,” he said.

No design elements have been changed since the commissioners’ last meeting, Donisi said.

For the 3,700-foot connector, an 8-foot to 10-foot recreational trail along most of it is anticipated, followed by a 350-foot section that will be down to 6 feet, Donisi said.

The road would be mostly 26 feet wide with 10-foot lanes, which was their original plan for this volume of traffic and the 25 mph speed limit, he said.

In response to a question from Commissioner Randy Johnson, Donisi said the trail would consist of packed gravel, the same as trails on the North Levee and the River’s Edge Levee, but he doesn’t know if that would be ADA-accessible.

Said County Administrator Todd Mielke: “What we’re really talking about is a levee trail that connects to other trails. Even though the design isn’t finished yet, it has changed dramatically from what was proposed two years ago. I think we’re really close to being there.”

Donisi said now county engineers need to figure out some sort of separation to make using the trail feel more recreational.

He was responding to Commissioner Mike French’s earlier comment that a trail may technically meet all the required safety specifications but might not “feel” safe.

“We’ve come from a 4-foot space to 6 to 8 to 10 in some places. From a recreational standpoint, we’ve gone from just connecting two 6-foot paths,” Donisi said.

“I think we have the best idea we’re going to have about how much space we’re going to have up there. Maybe do a little more research on the recreational aspect and come back to you,” he said.

“So, we are continuing with our schedule with our consultant, which will give us that space to work with there.

“And I don’t think we’re doing anything with that plan set that is counter to what I’m hearing here as far as having a road, hybrid-type of option. So, we’re going to continue with that and bring back some ideas that may be a positive recreational experience.”

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Reporter Brian Gawley can be reached at brian.gawley@peninsuladailynews.com.

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