Johnson Parkway roundabout nearing completion

Project has endured many challenges over past few years

While most of the work for the Johnson Parkway roundabout has been done, there are still a few finishing touches needed before the project is considered complete by mid-December.

Many factors have contributed to the delay in the project’s completion, such as the COVID-19 pandemic, material delays, cost increases, very wet conditions and that it is a big project so challenges are expected, per the city of Poulsbo’s engineering department. It was initially supposed to be finished by end of summer.

All paving and striping is finished, and most of the permanent signage has been installed, Public Works director Diane Lenius said at the Nov. 2 City Council meeting. The illumination system is also complete. Center island grading and welcome signage will be constructed this month.

Additionally, geosynthetic retaining wall precast panels are being fabricated with installation set for this month. The tunnel is also complete, but security cameras won’t be installed until late winter/early spring due to long order fulfillment time. Crews are also finalizing landscape items.

“I’m proud to say that we’re moving into the home stretch for this project,” Lenius said. “The last few years have been very busy in the engineering department. Our number one goal is to have a quality project completed for the city of Poulsbo and we fairly compensate the contractor for the work that’s been performed.”

Regarding the budget, $14.5 million of the total $15.7 million has already been paid to Active Construction Inc., the Tacoma-based company that was contracted for the project. Department of Transportation construction administration is receiving $1.6 million.

360 working days have been used of the total 380, and the contractor is requesting additional days in order to complete the project. Several construction change orders are also in the process of negotiation. Total cost of the project is about $18.2 million, and about $16.4 million has been spent so far.

Next steps include negotiating and closing out remaining issues; site cleanup; come back to council for budget amendments (about $1 million); request additional funding from DOT (about $1 million); request additional funding from Transportation Improvement Board (in process); and install artwork.

“I wish it had come in perfectly, obviously, but I’m not surprised or alarmed,” Mayor Becky Erickson said.

The city’s website states the roundabout is being built to improve traffic mobility and to provide safer access to Highway 305. Also, the nonmotorized tunnel crossing provides the only separated pedestrian and bicycle crossing of Highway 305. The tunnel will provide a connection between two nonmotorized routes that will provide over seven miles of safe, comfortable, ADA-accessible and stress-free bicycling, walking and running opportunities. Upgraded transit stops near the roundabout and flashing beacons will also provide safer access.