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By Christian Hill | Lacey Today
A road construction project in part will serve as a precursor to the proposed expansion of City Hall, scheduled to begin this fall.
The City Council has awarded the bid for a project to widen Sixth Avenue Southeast east of College Street, realign Baran Drive into the Saint Martin's University campus and install 102 new parking stalls at City Hall.
The project won't hamper motorists' ability to drive to City Hall and Lacey Timberland Regional Library using Sixth Avenue, Interim Public Works Director Roger Schoessel said.
"We'll be able to keep it open throughout the project," he said.
The new parking stalls will be northeast and southeast of City Hall.
The stalls will replace ones that temporarily will be lost when the contractor on the City Hall expansion project moves his equipment on site. In addition, after the project is finished, more parking lots would be needed to serve the larger building.
The city will minimize as much as possible the loss of trees because of the new parking stalls and City Hall expansion, Finance Director Blaine Martin said.
He said groundbreaking for the City Hall expansion should occur this fall.
"I sure would like to see that," he said. "It sure takes more time than you'd like."
The project would add 25,000 square feet of space, consisting of a basement and third floor. The estimated $7 million project would be paid for with cash reserves and short-term bonds. The city would pay the debt service on the bonds with an anticipated increase in sales-tax revenue.
For the immediate project, Baran Drive would be realigned farther east to create a four-way intersection with the entrance into City Hall. A 10-foot-wide strip of asphalt would be preserved on the abandoned roadbed and used as a walking trail, Schoessel said.
A sidewalk would be installed on the south side of Sixth Avenue east of College Street to the newly aligned intersection.
The stretch of Sixth Avenue to the newly created intersection would be widened to three lanes with bike lanes, and crews also will repair the police department parking lot where the asphalt is failing.
The council awarded the construction contract to Gig Harbor-based Pape & Sons Construction Inc. for $636,752.70, about $30,000 less than the engineer's estimate.
Construction will begin midmonth.
Christian Hill covers the city of Lacey and military for Lacey Today. He can be reached at 360-754-5427 or at email@example.com.