Jay Adams and Ruth Richards walk on the section of Alexander Street in Coupeville that doesn’t have a sidewalk. The town recently received a grant to finish the one block of sidewalk. Photo by Laura Guido/Whidbey News-Times

Jay Adams and Ruth Richards walk on the section of Alexander Street in Coupeville that doesn’t have a sidewalk. The town recently received a grant to finish the one block of sidewalk. Photo by Laura Guido/Whidbey News-Times

Town of Coupeville wins grants for big projects

Two relatively large road and sidewalk projects are set to move forward in Coupeville thanks to grants from the Transportation Improvement Program.

The state-funded program awarded the town more than $620,900 for improvements to South Main Street.

“For the size of Coupeville, this is a really big project for us,” said Public Works Superintendent Kelly Riepma. “It’ll have a great impact on the people that drive there every day.”

The grants will pay for resurfacing the road from town limits to the highway, stormwater drainage repairs and bringing the sidewalks into ADA compliance.

Surveying and engineering starts at the beginning of 2019, Riepma said, and construction is expected to begin in the summer.

Stormwater improvements will involve repairs to pipes that collapsed in the area. The wheelchair access points will be modified to make it easier to get from the street to the sidewalks, bringing the ramps into alignment with current ADA code.

“It’s been a long time since that road has been resurfaced, and the code has changed since them,” Riepma said.

Another long-awaited project slated for next year is the installation of the one missing block of sidewalk on Alexander Street.

“It’s a super busy, dangerous car-and-pedestrian intersection in town,” said Mayor Molly Hughes.

The area of missing sidewalk is across the street from the Coupeville Chamber of Commerce.

Many people used the area to park illegally, Hughes said.

This created an issue for pedestrians, who either had to walk on private property or into the street to get around the cars, she said.

The town blocked off the area to parking last summer. Hughes said nearby business owners responded positively.

The town received over $100,000 to complete the missing section of sidewalk. This construction is also expected to begin next summer.

The town’s road projects are included within Island County’s when the county goes out to bid. This means, whichever contractor wins the county’s bid will also complete Coupeville’s work.

Hughes said contracting with the county for the work is efficient.

“It’s a really huge help,” she said, “especially for a small town like Coupeville.”

Victor Graves walks on Alexander Street in Coupeville as a car drives by. The town received a grant to put in the sidewalk to improve pedestrian safety in the area. Photo by Laura Guido/Whidbey News-Times

Victor Graves walks on Alexander Street in Coupeville as a car drives by. The town received a grant to put in the sidewalk to improve pedestrian safety in the area. Photo by Laura Guido/Whidbey News-Times

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