Work won’t shovel dirt on Festival

POULSBO — The mere mention of backhoes, compactors and piles of dirt in American Legion Park a week before the start of Viking Fest is enough to raise eyebrows in Little Norway. But it will be OK by Friday when festival-goers begin filling the park.

“The work should be done before Viking Fest starts, but if it is not, the site will be cleaned up for the public,” said Poulsbo Senior Engineering Technician Anya Funk.

The timing of developer Central Highlands Builders’ work, which includes boring a tunnel underneath the existing pavement and installing a 24-inch plastic pipe to accommodate increased run-off, happened to coincide with the start of the festival. But city staff did not anticipate any issues with public access to the park, Funk said.

“The work is being done to improve the drainage to serve the second phase of the Poulsbo Place development,” she said.

Renovations underneath the roadway were expected to be completed before Viking Fest. Additional work in the park might continue until the afternoon of May 19, she added.

“They will have until the close of business on Thursday to have things cleaned up for public access to the park if they haven’t finished the work,” Funk said.

Contractors should have a quite a bit of work completed in the next few days and will not be adversely affected by inclement weather, she explained, noting that work that is not completed by Thursday afternoon will resume on Monday after the festival.

Most of the construction is being done using existing outfalls and is as low impact as possible, Funk said, noting that the drainage improvements will not affect existing drainage flows into Liberty Bay.

“Existing flows will not be interrupted during the construction because they use different pipes,” she said.

However, the new piping will be connected to the city’s stormwater system as the construction nears completion.

“This is the last major drainage project for Poulsbo Place and we anticipate that the work will be done in the next two weeks,” she said.

Phase II of the development, now being done by Central Highlands, will add 140 homes, including 10 live/work units, along Jensen Way. These 10 units feature a mix of 1,400-square-foot residential units with an additional 800 square feet for commercial use.

Last year, Central Highlands with Wenslau Architects took over the project from Security Properties Inc. SPI originally started work on the 174-units for Phase I of project in 2000.

The pair intend to complete the development similar to what SPI had planned, but using their own products and site design. Changes to the Poulsbo Place Master Plan were approved by the Poulsbo City Council in February.

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