Contract inked for construction of connector at center of Whidbey

Preliminary surveying and preparations for a road project that’s been in the works for over a decade is set to begin next week.

The Board of Island County Commissioners signed a contract with Trimaxx Construction Inc. last week for $4.046 million to build Oakes Road.

Public Works Director Bill Oakes said the conceptual phase for the Houston to Race Road connector on Central Whidbey began in 2006 to address the lack of alternative to State Highway 525 on that section of road.

“It’s a section of the island where there’s really no viable alternative to the state highway and it’s right in the middle of island,” he said.

“So if there’s an accident or blockage of the state highway, it cuts the island in half.”

The 1.5-mile road will be paved, two lanes and include a section with a rain garden median, retaining walls to minimize wetland impacts and a roadside natural stormwater system to treat and filter the road runoff, according to the contract.

Oakes said the rain garden median and filtration system designs are unique, and the new road will mark the first time the county has extensively used those methods for a road project.

He said the design is meant to recharge the aquifer faster than traditional water detention methods. The technology also promotes the growth of more plants, which are vital in stormwater filtration.

“It more closely mimics the existing land use out there, which is primarily forest,” he said.

A project open house is set for 5-7 p.m., Wednesday, June 27, at Central Whidbey Island Fire and Rescue Station No. 53, 1164 Race Road, Coupeville.

The county commissioners chose to name the road after Oakes last August.

“It guarantees a quality road if you name it after your engineer,” Commissioner Jill Johnson said during a work session.

Oakes tried to suggest other names, but the commissioners unanimously approved Oakes Road.

“The name is the choice of the board of commissioners,” said Oakes.

“I prefer to call it the Race to Houston connector, but I’m honored the board chose the name.”

More in News

ALERT aims to help residents prepare

Disaster preparedness may not be anyone’s idea of a good time, but… Continue reading

Harvest Feast feeds 600 families

Students and families celebrate an early Thanksgiving

Scammers using ballot signature issue in ruse

Voters who had an issue with the signature on their ballots should… Continue reading

Board to decide trail proposals

Commissioners with South Whidbey Parks and Recreation District are expected to make… Continue reading

Hospital suffers budget blow

WhidbeyHealth suffered an unplanned budget hit this year, making September “not such… Continue reading

Mobile Turkey Unit firing up

‘Nobody on this island needs to go without a meal on Thanksgiving

South Whidbey Jazz Ensemble shines at UW invitational

The South Whidbey High School Jazz Ensemble had great success at the… Continue reading

Fundraiser helping homeless is Nov. 18

The Whidbey Homeless Coalition is in the midst of one of its… Continue reading

Man accused of making threat at ‘drug house’

An assault was reported at a Clinton house that was the site… Continue reading

Most Read