North Main Street bid awarded

Businesses are bracing for a construction project that will limit access into the heart of Coupeville during the crucial summer tourism season.

Construction will begin in early June on a project to replace North Main Street from Third Street to Front Street. The project, costing nearly $1 million, includes replacing the roadway, stormwater drainage and installing new sidewalks on the eastern side of North Main Street. The project is expected to be complete by the end of September.

While the project will improve driving conditions through Coupeville, the construction period takes place during the busiest time of the year for the tourism-based businesses near downtown.

“It’ll definitely slow our business down for sure,” said Brenda Marti, owner of Brenda’s Gift Gallery on Front Street. “I’ll just have to work a bit harder this year.”

She has promotions, advertisements and signs ready to encourage people to come to downtown Coupeville during the construction period.

She has already felt the impact from town construction projects. Her business felt the slowdown when construction began across the street on the Front Street deck project. That project, which is delayed until early Mary, blocks a portion of Front Street during construction times.

Maureen Hummel, owner of the County Deli, said she has some unanswered questions about the construction project.

“I don’t know how much of a mess it’s going to be,” Hummel said. She too is worried that people don’t want to be inconvenienced by the construction project and may avoid the town altogether.

Hummel was disappointed to hear construction will take place during the busiest months of the year. She was hoping workers could have taken advantage of the fair weather earlier in the year.

The County Deli will lose parking in front of the building. To help improve business, Hummel said the deli will offer a delivery service during the construction period.

Construction is expected to begin in early June, though Town officials had hoped it would start in May. However, the delay of the deck project affected the start date on the road construction.

“We’ve got to have Front Street open because it’s a detour,” Coupeville Mayor Nancy Conard said.

During the road construction, traffic heading to and from downtown will be diverted to neighboring streets. Conard said she expects North Main Street to be open on evenings and weekends throughout construction.

In the coming weeks, Conard said she plans to meet with the contractor and local business owners to discuss the best way to deal with the project.

The Coupeville Town Council approved a $923,000 bid to Everson-based Soto and Sons, which officials said was the lowest responsible bid of the eight companies that bid on the project.

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