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County awards Bayview Road project

On Monday, Island County commissioners officially awarded Snelson Companies of Sedro-Wooley a $2.38 million contract for major roadwork on part of Bayview Road.

The contract is the latest milestone in a 10-year effort to expand the road shoulders, improve the stormwater drain system and make other upgrades to a nearly two-mile stretch of road between Highway 525 and Andreason Road.

According to county construction engineer Randy Brackett, Snelson has listed Krieg Construction, an Oak Harbor-based company, as a subcontractor for the project. Krieg Construction will receive about $550,000 to pave the road, Brackett said.

Work on Bayview Road should begin later this month or early July, said Pete Seybert, project engineer for the county.

Area residents, who have been vocal about their concerns over the upgrades, will have the chance to speak with Snelson representatives in coming weeks at a “meet and greet” organized by the county, Brackett said. The location and date of the public meeting has not been set.

Neither Snelson nor Krieg would have received the multimillion dollar contract without an apparent oversight by the lowest bidder.

Bill Oakes, public works director, said at the commissioners meeting Monday the lowest bidder, GG Excavation, left necessary information out of its $2.29 million bid for the project.

Representatives for GG Excavation failed to provide information about a flashing solar powered school sign, said Seybert after the commissioners meeting.

County law normally requires the county to accept the lowest bid. At Oakes’ request, the commissioners passed a resolution to exempt the Bayview contract from that requirement, with Oakes noting that accepting more bids would cost the county an additional $13,000 and delay roadwork until winter.

Yet to be resolved is access along the affected stretch of Bayview Road, Brackett said, which the county has been negotiating with landowners for more than a year. To date, the county has spent an estimated $100,000 for right-of-way access and is still negotiating with at least three property owners, Brackett said. No properties have been condemned to obtain access for the county, he said.

Improvements to Bayview Road were first proposed in 1995. The state awarded grant funding in 1996 for widening the road.

In October 2003, county engineers responded to complaints from Bayview Road residents by reducing the planned road width by 2 feet in some areas, the equivalent of 18,000 square feet of asphalt, and shortening a number of proposed retaining walls by several feet. Also cut from the project were planned curb and gutter in front of the Bayview Cash Store and Bayview High School.

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