Water Street serves as the public entrance and first impression to historic Port Townsend. Yet the street and sidewalks in many places are inadequate, unsafe, and not very inviting for pedestrians, bicyclists, and cars alike.
Over the last six years, the City of Port Townsend has made significant improvements to our Civic District and portions of the historic downtown, including along Water Street. We are continuing those efforts west, with improvements from Taylor Street to the Ferry Terminal.
Port Townsend was fortunate to receive a recent grant from the Washington State Transportation Improvement Board (TIB) for pavement replacement and new Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) access ramps. However, the funds do not cover other community priorities like streetscape enhancements, pedestrian and bicycle safety features, ADA compliant sidewalks, replacement of old water lines, and upgrades to stormwater collection and treatment.
After careful consideration, the city council approved financing of these community priorities. Leveraging the TIB grant with city bond and utility funds allows for one, holistic construction project to rebuild the cracked pavement, widen sidewalks to enhance streetscape, and replace aging utilities. Completing a single, coordinated project reduces the total cost and limits business disruption to one construction season. Also, through coordination with and contribution from the PUD, the project will build infrastructure that allows for the undergrounding of overhead utilities in early 2020.