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County set to take Illahee culvert construction bids

The December 2007 floods washed out a section of Illahee Road between California Street and Varsity Lane NE. Kitsap County Public Works is preparing to take construction bids on the project. - Paul Balcerak/file photo 2007
The December 2007 floods washed out a section of Illahee Road between California Street and Varsity Lane NE. Kitsap County Public Works is preparing to take construction bids on the project.
— image credit: Paul Balcerak/file photo 2007

Work expected to begin end of August.

A washed-out section of Illahee road, closed since December 2007, is a little closer to reopening.

The Federal Highway Administration (FHA) gave Kitsap County the go-ahead to advertise for construction bids on the Illahee culvert replacement. Design, right-of-way and permitting are all complete and the first bid advertisements were posted July 5.

Bids will be accepted until July 22, when they are opened, and a construction contract will be executed by county commissioners on Aug. 13.

“Getting the bid proposal out is a critical success,” Kitsap County Public Works (KCPW) spokesman Doug Bear said, explaining that a “ton of permits” were required to complete the process.

Those permits included the State Environmental Policy Act, state department of Fish and Wildlife and National Environmental Policy Act.

With bid advertisement a done deal, an expedited contract execution will allow construction to begin at the end of August, Bear said.

“Sometimes just getting a culvert constructed takes a long time,” he said.

According to a timeline released by KCPW, construction could be complete and the road open to traffic by Oct. 31.

“It can move relatively quickly,” Bear said.

The section of road between California Street and Varsity Lane NE has been a nuisance to area residents since a Dec. 3, 2007 rainstorm washed it out.

Drivers have been forced to steer clear of the closed section, using a not-so-convenient 20-mile detour to access Silverdale and Bremerton.

“If you live on either side of the closure, it’s certainly not convenient,” Bear said.

It’s been more than seven months since the section of road was closed.

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