Basich Boulevard repairs on track for late summer completion

Aberdeen’s Basich Boulevard, an alternative route to Grays Harbor Community Hospital, has been closed since late December after it was washed out during a series of winter storms but is on track for a late summer reopening.

“The current schedule is for the repair to be advertised for bids starting in June,” said Aberdeen City Engineer Kris Koski. “The work will include building a new embankment and roadway, plus storm drainage, sewer, and water utilities. We are on track for construction of a repair and reopening of the roadway late this summer.”

The city was granted a $1 million emergency loan from the state Public Works Board, which will allow the city to proceed with work on the roadway, an important emergency route to the hospital and tsunami staging area, as the city continues to seek other funding sources to pay for the work.

The loan term is 20 years, with an interest rate of 0.79% and 20% forgiveness when the work is complete. No ground work will be allowed to start until a “cultural resources review has been completed,” according to the state Public Works Board letter of the loan’s approval. “We will request the tribal consultation review to receive comments rapidly, due to the emergency.”

The Aberdeen City Council this week approved a report allowing Mayor Pete Schave to sign the loan agreement at its Wednesday meeting.

“The city is still trying to pursue other options and not have to take the loan, we haven’t given up on that,” said Ward 3 Councilman and Public Works Committee Chairman Tim Alstrom. “If we do end up taking the loan, the rate is very good and requires an 80% payback. If we do end up borrowing for this project this is definitely the route we want to go.”

Koski said he and Public Works Director Rick Sangder spoke with the engineering consultant designing the repair, Calvin McCaughan with Laundau Associates in Olympia, Wednesday.

“He presented a range of alternatives, describing the approach to each and some rough costs for comparison purposes. Then he recommended a preferred alternative based on the stability, constructability, and cost of the repair, plus the level of service of the finished roadway,” said Koski. “Rick and I agreed with the recommendation and authorized preparation of plans, specifications and estimates for bidding.”

Highway 12 rail separation grant application

The council approved a 2020 Better Utilizing Investments to Leverage Development (BUILD) grant for the Highway 12 rail separation project. The project would improve traffic flow through east Aberdeen by constructing roundabouts and overpasses to decrease traffic delays caused by passing trains.

Partnering with the Port of Grays Harbor, the city will apply for a grant of up to $2 million for the pre-construction phases of the project. The city will use the $700,000 it got in the state’s supplemental transportation budget and “$700,000 of local commitment, including $200,000 previously committed by the City of Aberdeen, as match for the application,” read the city Public Works report to the council.