West Whidbey Ave. project moves forward

West Whidbey Avenue in Oak Harbor will undergo utility improvements and an overlay this summer.

West Whidbey Avenue in Oak Harbor will undergo utility improvements and an overlay this summer.

At a May 16 city council meeting, City Engineer Alex Warner said the project extends from Northwest Jib Street to Oak Harbor Street and is approximately half a mile in length.

“It’s really three capital projects turned into one contract,” he said.

The water main and storm water line will be replaced, along with a full overlay and re-striping of the roadway.

Warner said 85% of the overlay and striping costs will be covered by Washington’s Transportation Improvement Board, a “source of funds that we haven’t tapped into for quite some time.”

He said the city’s consulting engineer estimated the cost of the project would be $2.9 million. The city received four bids and selected C. Johnson Construction, Inc. which was the lowest bidder at $1.7 million.

The water main replacement will cost $774,575 and the storm drain replacement will cost $527,849. The overlay and striping will amount to $527,849 with the Transportation Improvement Board to reimburse $448,672.

Councilmember Bryan Stucky said he was glad to see this motion as people have asked him “over and over” when West Whidbey Avenue would be completed.

Mayor Pro Tem Tara Hizon asked if the project had to be done during the summer months due to traffic volume on the street and proximity to the high school. Warren answered that the project is scheduled to be done by the end of the summer, but he needed to get clarification from the contractor.

“That is entirely our goal, to have it wrapped up by the time school starts in the fall,” he said, adding that he was aware the road was a vital connection for school buses and parents.

Councilmember Jim Woessner said he was excited to see some “normalcy” in construction costs.

“There was a point in time where we couldn’t even get one person to bid a project, much less four contractors,” he said. “I’m excited to see that we’ve got some local contractors that have bid this.”

According to its website, C. Johnson Construction Inc. is a family-owned construction company based in Oak Harbor.

Councilmember Shane Hoffmire commended the cost of the project.

“To see something that we thought was going to $2.9 million come in at $1.7, that’s incredible,” he said.

The motion to award the contract passed unanimously.