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Roadwork begins next week on Oak Harbor Street

Oak Harbor Street is in line for a full makeover.

The Oak Harbor City Council awarded a contract for construction of the N. Oak Harbor Street Improvement Project to G & G Excavation, Inc., of Anacortes in the amount of $1.54 million for improvements to the roadway between Whidbey and Crosby Avenues.

Local contractors Krieg Construction and C. Johnson Construction bid $1.62 million and $1.89 million, respectively.

The bid was a surprise to Oak Harbor’s engineers who estimated the cost at slightly less than $2.5 million.

“It’s a very favorable bid in Oak Harbor’s favor,” City Engineer Eric Johnston said.

Although G & G isn’t exactly local, they subcontracted the paving section of the project to Krieg Construction, Johnston said.

The street-widening project will transform the nondescript thoroughfare into an urban streetscape, complete with bike lanes, landscaping, sidewalks and lighting.

“We’re taking that old country roadway to an urban standard,” Johnston told City Council members earlier this week.

This is no small undertaking. At past council standing committee meetings, Johnston’s compared the project — in terms of size and scope — to the Pioneer Way downtown revitalization, although this project isn’t likely to draw the same level of community uproar.

The cost of the project will be covered by a grant from the Transportation Improvement Board, transportation impact fees, developer contributions and other city funding.

The project also includes the purchase of rights of way from Puget Sound Energy, Concordia Lutheran Church, Cove Apartments, Mule Skinners Inc., and a private landowner.

The project will, undoubtedly, affect the heavy flow of traffic along Oak Harbor Street, Johnston said. Motorists will notice the start of construction next week.

For more information about the project, call Arnie Peterschmidt, project engineer, 279-4525, or email apeterschmidt@oakharbor.org.

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