Fjord Drive should be repaired and both lanes open in November

POULSBO — Fjord Drive should be repaired and both lanes open in November.

The Poulsbo Public Works Department is advertising for new bids, after the City Council voted July 20 to decline earlier bids that were twice as much as the city engineer’s estimates.

Deadline for new bids is Aug. 12. Public Works Project Assistant Ryan Farncomb said the city hopes to have the project under way by the end of August and completed within 55 working days.

The city scaled back the project to ensure bids will come in closer to the engineer’s estimate of $585,000: Reduced the pavement repair to about 350 feet, reduced the water main replacement from 1,100 feet to 300 feet; and modified the specifications on the retaining walls — Councilman Ed Stern said after the council vote that it was “over-engineered.”

According to the public notice advertising the project for bid, the project consists of:

— Construction of soil nail retaining walls adjacent to Fjord Drive.

— Reconstruction of the pavement surface of about 350 feet of Fjord Drive.

— Minor construction of storm drainage features.

— Replacement of 300 feet of existing water main, side services and valves.

According to a geotechnical contractor's website, soil nailing is "an economical technique for stabilizing slopes and for constructing retaining walls from the top down. This ground reinforcement process uses steel tendons which are drilled and grouted into the soil to create a composite mass similar to a gravity wall. A shotcrete facing is typically applied, though many architectural options such as precast panels or 'green' vegetated cells are available for permanent wall facings."

City Engineer Andrzej Kasiniak said the contractor will have to do the work from the street to protect the marine environment. “He can’t do it from a barge,” Kasiniak said. He said the street will be closed, with local access provided, while the work is being done.

In June, the City of Poulsbo was awarded $475,000 from the Federal Highway Administration to  stabilize Fjord Drive; and $276,337 from the state Department of Ecology to add landscaping on 6th Avenue to filter stormwater before it gets to Liberty Bay.

The total cost for the 6th Avenue project is $379,900; Fjord Drive will cost $635,000. The city will contribute $103,563 for the 6th Avenue project and $160,000 from its utility fund for the rest of the Fjord Drive repair cost.

Fjord Drive between Front Street and 6th Avenue closed to northbound traffic November 2009 because of slides in two areas. One-way access remained available for people living along the road, but right turns from Front Street onto Fjord Drive have not been permitted since then.

In a June story, Fjord Drive residents said they can't wait for the road to improve.

"I'm so excited to hear that the city approved the grant to get this started," Penny Lawrence-Grant said. "I have been one of those people that emails the city every four months or so asking what is happening with this."

Will Fjord Drive need repair again?

"Not in the immediate future,” Farncomb said. “Any road along a coastal bluff is subject to erosion. In the future, we will be repairing Fjord again, but not in the immediate future.”


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