POULSBO — The Anderson Parkway reconstruction project begins Tuesday, and city officials and downtown businesses are taking steps to ensure visitors understand some things, chiefly:
All businesses will be open.
Finding a parking space will not be hard.
The end result will be worth the inconvenience.
“Three things excite me about this project,” Mayor Becky Erickson said Wednesday.
“The configuration will be improved. There will be better traffic flow, better lighting, better pedestrian access. It’s going to be more attractive. And the bioswales and rain gardens will get the dirt and all of the oil from getting into the bay.”
Erickson called cleaning runoff from the parking lot “an absolute necessity.”
The state agrees. The state Department of Ecology is helping to fund the reconstruction of the parkway, which includes repaving with permeable asphalt.
A test of water quality from the parkway’s storm drain revealed high levels of fecal coliform, oil and grease, and phosphorous, according to a city report.
Here’s what to expect during the project, according to Assistant Public Works Director Andrzej Kasiniak and senior field inspector Mike Lund:“On Monday, the contractor will start to put some fencing up to create work zone,” Kasiniak said. “The contractor cannot close any more than 50 percent of the parking lot during the project. Half of it will always open.”
By the end of February, however, the parkway will be closed entirely for seven days for final grading and paving. The parkway must be graded to ensure water flows to the rain gardens and swales.
“All of the work should be done by March 1,” Kasiniak said.
Grading and paving work will be done, that is. To come in March: Installation of lights and striping, although the parkway will be open for parking. “We’ll do something temporary” to denote parking spaces, Kasiniak said. The project will be signed off by April 2.
The project will be something to see. Existing asphalt will be ground up and reused for the subsurface, resulting in what Lund called “a stouter base.” The parkway surface will consist of 3 inches of permeable asphalt atop 4 inches of crushed rock atop the fill that was dredged in the 1950s to create the parkway.
Besides bioswales, raingardens and decorative light standards, the new parkway will feature 195 parking spaces, an increase of two, two pedestrian crossings, and new sidewalks.
During reconstruction of Anderson Parkway, you can try your luck — and test your patience — trying to find parking on Front Street or the Queen Sonia Vei parking lot next to the Poulsbo Marine Science Center.
Or you can park at one of these other locations.
— Poulsbo City Hall, 200 NE Moe St., Poulsbo. You may not have known it, but the parking garage at City Hall is public and available for parking, no cost, any time. But be considerate; city employees park here too. Erickson said there are approximately 70 parking spaces. (You might luck out and find a place on Moe Street.)
“It’s well-lighted, it’s dry, it’s a great place to park,” downtown business owner Tammy Mattson said of City Hall.
— King Olav parking lot, 19000 block of Front Street NE. This city lot has approximately 112 spaces of free parking, with easy pedestrian access to Jensen Way and Front Street.
— On Jensen Way. There are approximately 64 on-street parking spaces on Jensen between Front Street and Sunset Street/3rd Avenue, where the Poulsbo Place neighborhood begins.
In addition, 56 spaces are available at the Port of Poulsbo-owned parking lot in the 19000 block of Jensen Way. Parking in the port lot is paid. And 25 parking spaces are available at the old city hall, 19050 Jensen Way.
— The old police station at 367 NE Hostmark St. Approximately 16 parking spaces are available. Free.
Erickson is confident downtown parking won’t be a problem. “If you look at downtown now, there are a lot of parking spots,” she said. “You might have to walk a couple of blocks, but you’ll find parking.”
The Historic Downtown Poulsbo Association employed The RockFish Group to handle messaging and public information. The message: “Downtown is still open for business, this is where you can park, these are the alternative routes,” Erickson said. “They’re really working on getting information out in a way that people can understand what’s going to happen.”
RockFish is being paid by the Historic Downtown Poulsbo Association and not the city, the mayor said.
The parkway project will cost $529,037, $18,000 less than the estimate by the city’s engineers. Funds come from a $270,000 Ecology grant for stormwater improvements, $125,000 from the city stormwater fund and $175,000 from the city road fund. Lighting will cost $40,228, covered by funds saved from the Noll Road improvement project, which came in $46,000 under budget.