News

Suquamish stormwater project gets unplugged

By TIFFANY ROYAL

Staff Writer

SUQUAMISH — After months of rumbling over potholes, walking around sandbags and dealing with no sidewalks, the end to the stormwater construction project on Suquamish Way and Augusta Avenue is near.

Even so, frustrated residents will need to bear the traveling burden for two more months.

Suquamish tribal officials announced March 5 that construction will resume in mid-March and is expected to be completed by mid-May.

The project, which started in September 2003, was delayed after three abandoned fuel tanks were discovered underneath Augusta Avenue.

The removal of the tanks and clean up and the winter weather were the primary reasons for the delay, tribal officials said.

The tribe will also be hiring a new contractor shortly, who is expected to patch existing holes, install new sidewalks, complete construction of the stormwater outflow pipe, restore the boat ramp and access road and reseed the ball yard and canoe shed area.

“The tribe, Kitsap County and the Bureau of Indian Affairs appreciate the local community’s patience with the project delays,” said Suquamish Tribe Department of Community Development Director Scott Crowell said . “The tribe has been unfairly criticized by a few residents about the delays in this project.

The tribe, with over $200,000 of additional funding from the Bureau of Indian Affairs, removed three abandoned fuel tanks that leached fuels and have been contaminating adjacent soils for decades.”

The tanks were abandoned by non-tribal members and were not the responsibility of the Suquamish Tribe, Crowell explained.

“The removal of the tanks was a service to the present and future residents of the Suquamish community,” he added.

The initial cost of the project is $340,000, but the BIA had to provide an additional $221,000 to pay for the removal of the fuel tanks and contaminated soils.

The Bureau of Indian Affairs Roads Department, which used Federal Highway Administration money, Kitsap County and the Suquamish Tribe funded the original stormwater line replacement and sidewalk improvement project.

The completed project is expected to reduce the stormwater accumulation that has annually flooded downtown Suquamish while improving pedestrian access to local stores and community services.

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