North county road project delayed

State officials have announced that the road construction project near Deception Pass will likely be delayed until next spring.

The project, which drew the ire of neighbors concerned about losing access to Cornet Bay via Old Cornet Road, suffered setbacks because of land acquisition and the time necessary to relocate utilities, said Todd Harrison, DOT’s assistant area administrator.

“We had been hoping to acquire all the property as of last week,” he said. “But that is not going to happen until June 15.”

Harrison was quick to point out that the delay is not related to the recent opposition to the project. Residents came forward to protest Old Cornet Road’s closure earlier this month, some even threatened legal action.

The $8 million project will relocate Ducken Road’s intersection on Highway 20 to align with Deception Circle. It will also drop the road’s elevation by approximately 10 feet near Ducken, which will improve the sight line.

Island County Engineer Dick Snyder said that he would like to see the project continue this year because of safety concerns.

“The longer you wait, the more accidents that are going to happen,” he said. “The main reason for the project was safety.”

Harrison said that the delay of acquiring the property is also trickling down to work on relocating the utilities in the area. He said that it will take approximately two months to move the utilities, moving the possible construction start date back to August.

“That’s not enough time to get the project started before the fall rains start,” Harrison said.

As a result, WSDOT will push back advertising for bids until September and construction will begin next spring.

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