City officials are trying to get the word out early and often about a pending overhaul of downtown Bremerton’s main drag, Pacific Avenue.
“The project is going to entirely reconstruct the street and put in new utilities, so there’s going to be a lot of activity,” said Bremerton Public Works Director Chal Martin.
In order to continue efforts to get feedback on the project, the city will host a public meeting at 5 p.m. Feb. 26 to discuss final proposed design features and get input on construction sequencing. Martin said that construction could get underway by early June.
The Pacific Avenue Reconstruction Project includes major reconstruction of the street between 6th and 11th Streets. Work will include above ground improvements and underground utility work, both of which will result in traffic and pedestrian impacts. Above ground work includes a combination of streetscapes and intersection improvements. Placing electrical lines underground will take place south of 9th Street. The city obtained grant funding to pay for the undergrounding work for the main power grid, but each private property owner will need to pay for the connection over private property to the building served.
Martin said that undergrounding cost estimates from Puget Sound Energy that were provided two years ago ranged from $3,136 to $8,136. Martin also noted that only seven addresses will need to pay for the work.
The project is primarily funded from a $3 million federal transportation grant. A 13.5 percent match is required, amounting to $468,208. The matching money will come from the city’s water and sewer funds, ancillary to utility replacement work which will be incorporated into the project. Design expenses to date total about $520,000, leaving about $2.75 million for the street reconstruction work.
Because a previous cost estimate indicated a construction cost of over $3 million, the city is working to reduce project expenses. It does look like there are several features of the current design that could be changed to save costs. For example, replacing brick pavers with stamped, dyed concrete, using less expensive illumination, and using less pervious pavement and/or concrete (in lieu of conventional paving/concrete).