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Annual street project list updated in Oak Harbor

A six-year transportation plan would overhaul NE 7th Avenue and expand highway access to developing areas in southern Oak Harbor.

These are two new projects recently added to the Transportation Improvement Program detailed by the city.

This year, the city completed two projects on the TIP list: the Bayshore Drive extension between Erie Street and Beeksma Drive and the Waterfront Trail improvements.

City Administrator Paul Schmidt says the projects on the list are fluid and could be triggered by increased traffic. The six-year plan is updated each year.

“We can’t have all of our streets planned in six years; it has to be realistic. If we don’t think we’ll ever have the funding, we don’t add it to the list,” Schmidt said.

The funding comes from a mix of local, state or federal funding.

Projects expected to begin in 2010 include improvements to Pioneer Way and North Oak Harbor Street. From West Pioneer Way to Erie Street, the city will add turn lanes and realign the intersection.

Last week, the city council added a project to extend Eagle Vista Avenue west from Highway 20. Eagle Vista provides access to the highway at the southern most part of Oak Harbor.

The property between Haga Road and Eagle Vista is expected to be annexed to the city in the near future, so the plan is to create an east to west collector street as the area develops.

Developers will pay for a portion, or possibly all, of the new arterial.

They also plan to reconstruct NE 7th Avenue between Oak Harbor Street and Highway 20. The road is a major link between the large, northwest residential neighborhoods and the commercial part of the city.

The road currently lacks sidewalks, bicycle, lighting and drainage facilities.

City Councilman Jim Campbell described the road as “dangerous as hell,” particularly for pedestrians. The work is expected to begin in 2014 and will cost about $2 million.

Schmidt said the list is very tentative and projects can be bumped to another year or remain on the list beyond the six years.

“Funding is getting more and more scarce,” he said.

There are currently 13 projects on the six-year plan. To take a look at the list, visit www.oakharbor.org and click on documents at the top of the page.

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