POULSBO — For Poulsbo, the months of June, July, August and September might very well seem like the “endless summer” as it plods forward with construction projects that will eventually change several key locations in and around the city.
While the engineering department has its hands full with renovations to Front Street and a new bridge on Lindvig Way, public works is preparing to dig in for two related projects that will enhance the northern portion of Viking Avenue and set the long-rusted wheels at Olhava in motion.
The “oil” for Olhava, as far as Poulsbo is concerned, is constructing 18,000-feet of water and sewer infrastructure along Thompson Road and Viking Avenue.
Poulsbo City Council unanimously supported the two projects, estimated at well over $1.9 million, Wednesday night by agreeing to enter a professional services contract with KCM/Tetra Tech.
The first element of the projects will be a 6,300-foot section of 12-inch water transmission main between the city’s west side well and the future site of water storage facility on the Olhava property. The catch — if there truly is one — has to do with timing.
Despite the heavy workload, Poulsbo faces a tight timeline on the Thompson Road portion of the utility improvements, Public Works Director Bill Duffy pointed out.
On Jan. 2, the city signed off on a memorandum of understanding with representatives from First Western and Olympic College that is basically acting as the foundation cement for a new college campus at Olhava.
But first, Poulsbo must do its part for the mix.
“We have to have Thompson Road done by Nov. 1 for that memorandum of understanding,” Duffy said. “We have to have it up and running by then but we’ve got to a tank to hook it up to.”
To make sure the city has just this, the Jan. 2 agreement also requires First Western, a subsidiary of Olhava Associates, to construct a water reservoir at the future development site by the same November deadline. The tank will provide required fire flow and give Olympic College the opportunity to finally begin work on its 20-acre campus and buildings.
“First Western has to have tank construction done by Nov. 1 and the city has to have water to it by then as well,” explained city engineer John Stephenson, who said that the developer was also making positive steps to keep on task.
“We believe that we’ve selected a contractor to do the tank construction,” Kent Barryman of First Western confirmed Thursday.
According to Barryman, his company’s engineers have designed a 120-foot-tall, 800,000-gallon tank that will provide both water storage and fire flow capacity for Olympic College and the rest of Olhava. Existing trees around the large structure, he added, will be kept as a buffer.
“We’re going to start this summer with the objective of having it done by Nov. 1 so Olympic College can begin its combustible — wood — construction,” Barryman said. “It’s an awesome task but I think we’re on target.”
While the new campus is big news for the city as a whole, improvements to the sewer systems on north Viking Avenue are equally huge for prospective business owners who hope to locate along the corridor.
The second element of the project is the design of approximately 11,700-feet of water and sewer utilities on Viking Avenue and extending north to the city limits at Commerce Street. The 12-inch water main portion will actually extend beyond the city limits, cross under Highway 3 and connect with the new Olhava reservoir system at Olhava.
City council members have praised the north Viking plan as “smart growth” because it leads businesses to potential locations rather than having new or expanding companies lead Poulsbo in terms of development.
The city plans to secure the construction contract in June and have both projects underway by July 1.