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Concrete mostly poured, Second Street project set to wrap in June

Cody Larson, an employee of Sedro-Woolley-based Schwetz Construction, cleans off part of the concrete pavement on Second Street on Thursday. Work on the road is on a Monday-through-Thursday schedule.  - Ben Watanabe / The Record
Cody Larson, an employee of Sedro-Woolley-based Schwetz Construction, cleans off part of the concrete pavement on Second Street on Thursday. Work on the road is on a Monday-through-Thursday schedule.
— image credit: Ben Watanabe / The Record

Trucks and backhoes and tractors are parked on Second Street, and that’s about it in the fifth month of the major overhaul of the Langley road. Ben Watanabe / The Record | A crew works on sections of sidewalk near Useless Bay Coffee Company and Langley City Hall on May 1.

As crews worked to finish pouring and smoothing concrete in the road and sidewalks, vehicle access to the street ended. That included the entry to the Langley Post Office, which was earlier given a public access to Third Street as part of the project.

Work remains close to the original timeline, and Langley Mayor Fred McCarthy was pleased with the progress.

“They’re moving really well,” he said. “I still feel that this is a really good project, pretty much on schedule.”

Added costs and change orders have amounted to about $130,000, McCarthy said, which was within the project’s contingency of 10 percent of the project budget total. The composition of the soil underneath Second Street made for a poor base, so new soil was used to fill in several spots. A fire hydrant that was discovered to be on private property, and not the city’s right of way, was relocated as well.

“We’ve had a few surprises along the way that had costs associated with them, but the costs are within a normal contingency,” McCarthy said.

Originally scheduled for an early June finish, Rory Woody, the construction inspector with the main contracted company, said the whole project is in its final month and appears to be on track to wrap by as early as June 12. He remarked about the pedestrian culture in Langley and said he’s noticed plenty of foot traffic around and through the construction — even to his chagrin, given that he’s wary of people tripping, slipping or stepping into unfinished concrete.

Woody also commented on the nature of the project, a bit of placemaking in Langley as well as infrastructure.

“They’re trying to breathe a breath of fresh air in Langley, and I think it’ll work,” he said.

Access issues plagued the project and businesses on Second Street. Leadership from the South Whidbey Commons has cited the project as a major cause in its decrease in business since January, and the crews had to ensure that the Animal Hospital by the Sea had an access at all times. That caused the concrete company to section the north sidewalk, leaving a large swath unfilled so animal owners could get in and out of the veterinarian’s office. Making accommodations like that, and general pleasantries with the public, have made the interruptions to the normally sleepy seaside city tolerable, McCarthy said.

“They’ve been extraordinary in the positive interactions with community members,” he said.

 

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