The City Council awarded the bid to Rognlin's Inc. of Aberdeen for $4,345,114.34, about $500,000 less than the engineer's estimate.
The project will widen Mullen Road to three lanes from Ruddell Road to past Timberline High School, including sidewalks, bicycle lanes and street lighting.
Crews will place utilities underground and perform some preliminary work this summer.
They won't be able to begin the demolition of the existing roadway until April, said Martin Hoppe, the city's transportation manager. That's because they couldn't get the work done before the new school year begins.
As it stands, the major road work will begin before school lets out next summer.
"We cannot finish that road in two months," Hoppe said of waiting until Timberline's summer recess begins. "We're just trying to have the majority of the difficult work done during the school break."
The city is working in concert with North Thurston Public Schools to ensure the construction doesn't interfere with the $60 million remodeling of Timberline. The school district is contributing $900,000 to the project.
The widening of Mullen Road is one of several projects under way or scheduled to begin this summer.
Work has begun on the annual residential street overlay project. Crews will reconstruct or pave aging neighborhood streets generally west of Ruddell Road and south of Lacey Boulevard. In addition, the city will paint parking stalls at the western terminus of 45th Avenue Southeast, which the public generally has used as a trail head for the Chehalis Western Trail. The striping will designate 29 parking stalls and 4 stalls for disabled people. This year the city has increased its investment in the project to $1 million from $650,000.
The city is accepting bids on a joint project with the Panorama retirement community to install a traffic light and pedestrian crossing a few hundred feet south of the intersection of 14th Avenue Southeast and Sleater-Kinney Road. The crossing will be similar to the one on College Street in front of Mountain View Elementary School.
The city has extended the time to receive bids for a project to add a second left-turn lane on the southbound offramp to the Interstate 5-Marvin Road interchange. The time was extended because no contractor had submitted a bid by the prior deadline, Hoppe said.
The project will help eliminate backups on I-5 during the evening rush hour, including the potential for high-speed rear-end collisions.