Oak Harbor city council OKs construction of crosswalk on Bayshore

Pedestrian improvements are planned for Oak Harbor’s Windjammer Park.

During Tuesday night’s teleconferenced city council meeting, the council approved a bid for the construction of a crosswalk on Bayshore Drive. The crosswalk will connect Hal Ramaley Memorial Park and the Little League baseball fields near Windjammer Park and the reconstruction of the sidewalk on City Beach Street that leads into the park.

The crosswalk is a mid-block crosswalk, meaning that it will be located in the middle of a street, as opposed to at an intersection.

Because of its position in the middle of a street a mid-block crosswalk can be unsafe, mayor Bob Severns said in a phone interview on Thursday.

“Drivers get too used to travelling down the street and not having a stop sign; all of a sudden they have a pedestrian,” Severns said. But he added that Oak Harbor, like many cities, frequently uses mid-block crosswalks. He noted the crosswalk that connects City Hall to the police department on Barrington Drive.

“If we’re going to build one, take on the additional responsibilities that come with those; we really have to do our homework.”

The new crosswalk will have measures to make the crossing safer for pedestrians.

Along with the usual striping and signs, the new crosswalk will have sidewalk bulb outs with ADA ramps and flashing signs that would indicate when someone is crossing.

“If you have a pedestrian ballplayer that wants to cross,” Severns said, “if they do it right they would go to a crosswalk, push the button, the lights would flash, then they would wait for the traffic to stop and then cross.”

Paired with the crosswalk is the reconstruction of the sidewalk on the west side of City Beach Street. The reconstruction will align the sidewalk with the new entrance to Windjammer Park.

Out of four bids for the project, PNW Civil Inc had the lowest with $122,465.

“It’s encouraging to see that we’re getting more bids as we’re putting these items out for bid,” Councilman Bill Larsen said during Tuesday’s meeting.

“It’s also encouraging to see that we had three come out underneath the engineers estimate,” he said.

The engineer’s estimate of the project was $151,094.

Construction for the project is expected to begin this spring.

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