POULSBO — After dreaming of a smooth ride on 10th Avenue for several years and coming close to realizing improvements on the crack-laden stretch, the City of Poulsbo got a rude awakening last week when it was informed that proposed work would have to wait yet another season.
City Engineer John Stephenson shook the public works committee from its idealistic slumber last Wednesday when he announced that damage on the heavily-traveled roadway.
“It’s more of a major construction project than we first thought,” he reported. “In some parts, the mud is pushing right up through the alligator cracks.”
A few weeks ago, the city thought it had the solution in its grasp, thinking it could use some $33,000 in developer fees to cover the majority of costs associated with the growing problem. But upon further inspection, officials discovered that the damage was much more involved.
“There is water underneath the pavement in some spots,” Stephenson said, adding that new repair estimate was in the $165,000 neighborhood. The affected pavement area, he noted, was also larger than the city first believed. “We’ll try to hold it another year.”
While council members were disappointed by the proposal to place the repair work on the city’s six-year Transportation Improvement Project list, they did feel the construction could be budgeted in 2003.
“We’ll try to force this into the budget,” Councilman Dale Rudolph promised. “This is so obvious. It’s the worst road in the city.”
Public Works Supt. Bill Duffy nodded in agreement.
“It turned the corner last winter. The weather and the traffic just beat it up,” Duffy said.
Fast-tracking the project was not feasible at this time, Stephenson said, noting that local contractors were already pretty deep into their summer projects.
“Could we go to the eastside?” Councilwoman Jackie Aitchison asked. “Maybe the contractors over there are hungrier.”
While this may be the case, the committee agreed that, hungry or not, practically every contractor available presently has its mouth full with projects.
“It’s just embarrassing,” Councilman Jeff McGinty observed. “It’s just getting busier and busier.”