Crews work six days a week on Viking Avenue

POULSBO — Construction crews on Viking Avenue will make up for lost time by working Saturdays.

Viking Avenue will be down to one lane between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m., Monday through Saturday, to complete the project. The project includes installing sidewalks, bike lanes, a turn lane and median and storm controls from near Bovella Lane to the south city limits. Work is slated to finish in October, if the weather cooperates. The project has been on the city’s wish list since 2000, and is needed to make Viking Avenue safer, said Mike Lund, senior field inspector with Poulsbo Public Works.

“There are a lot of residents in that little section, especially on the water side,” Lund said.

When residents slowed their cars to turn down driveways, drivers behind them often drove around them on the road’s shoulder or, occasionally, rear-ended them. Because there were no sidewalks, bicyclists and pedestrians were put in danger. The retaining walls the project required were labor-intensive, Lund said, which is holding up progress.

Lund said flaggers around the construction site are working to keep the traffic flowing, and he asked motorists to be patient and use alternate routes.

“If you have to be in town, by all means, drive in town, but if you’re going to Silverdale, use the freeway,” Lund said.

He also asked motorists to be courteous of the businesses along Viking Way by not blocking their entrances.

The project took a while to get to because the city didn’t have the cash on hand to get it done. When $3.8 million in federal stimulus money was earmarked to pay for Viking Avenue construction last year, bids came in much lower than expected. The leftover funds were reallocated to the second phase of construction.

The contingency was approved by the Puget Sound Regional Council, which is administering some of the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act money.

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