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Dig into the details of the Bremerton Tunnel

Itâ??s onward and downward for the Bremerton Tunnel first phase set to get started this summer. The public is invited to dig into the details of the project at an open house with Washington Transportation Department (WSDOT) officials. The event is set for 4-7 p.m. Monday at the Norm Dicks Government Center.

The $30.7 million contract for the tunnel was awarded to Tri-State Construction, Inc. of Bellevue.

â??They plan on attacking the project pretty aggressively,â? said Brenden Clarke, project engineer for WSDOT.

Construction should begin around July 9 with the destruction of buildings at First Street and Pacific Avenue and parking structures along Burwell Street. he said. About that same time the stretch of Burwell between Park and Pacific avenues will be closed to ferry traffic.

The project calls for the construction of a two-lane, 950-foot tunnel to take off-loading ferry traffic to Burwell Street. Clarke said crews will dig down 25-32 feet to construct the tunnel. The tunnel, said transoportation officials will make the downtown area safer for pedestrians. The tunnel is off-limits to bicyclists and pedestrians.

The project also calls for an addition of a third lane along Pacific, changing the location of the ferry toll booths and adding a canopy to the toll booth area.

Stage two stretches from January to May 2008 and includes the closure of Pacific Avenue to Second Street, detouring traffic, constructing the tunnel between Burwell Street and First Street.

The tunnel is scheduled for completion in spring 2009.

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