DOT: Shorter waits at Marine Drive next week

Published on Thu, May 6, 2010 by By Tara Nelson

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Drivers can expect to see fewer delays next week as crews complete the first phase of a roundabout project at Peace Portal and Marine drives.

Washington state Department of Transportation spokesperson Dustin Terpening said beginning next week, crews will begin installing the first layer of pavement, which should help traffic flow more smoothly and help keep down the spread of dirt in neighboring areas.

“With the underground work done and with a lot of the elements that could add risk or delay to the project mostly out of the way, we should be able to move ahead with a lot more confidence,” he said.

The $2.8 million construction project includes the construction of two roundabouts on Peace Portal Drive near D Street and Marine Drive as well as sidewalk, landscaping and lighting improvements. Most of the work is scheduled for completion by May 25 although crews will continue with some landscaping work into the summer months. That work should not disrupt traffic, Terpening said.

Project engineer Chris Damitio said crews discovered some unexpected problems, one being approximately 100 yards of contaminated soil – likely from gas stations in the area during the 1960s – and the other, nearly 1,000 feet of old Highway 99 and E Street buried four feet down.

Damitio said crews were able to quickly remove the material by bringing in extra workers and that the project is still expected to be completed on schedule. He added they expect some cost increases but those increases haven’t been negotiated with the contractor yet.

“It was a little bit of a surprise but we were able to deal with it effectively,” he said. “We’re still working with the contractor in identifying the extra costs associated with bringing in extra workers to mitigate the extra work but our main focus is keeping the project on schedule. We’re still expecting to finish within the 50 days.”

The DOT has provided financial incentives to the contractor  – Interwest Construction, Inc. of Burlington – for finishing the project ahead of schedule and penalties for completing the project late.

For more project details, visit www.wsdot.wa.gov/Projects/I5/blaineinterchange.