Summer’s projects beginning in city

mbatcheldor@theolympian.comMarch 26, 2013 

Now that it’s spring, the construction season is getting into gear in Olympia, where there are 20 projects worth about $39 million on deck this year.

Most of the money will be spent on two big projects. Crews are building a new wellfield to replace McAllister Springs as the city’s main water supply, with more than $13 million worth of related work. And crews will soon start replacing the exterior of The Washington Center for the Performing Arts for about $4.6 million.

Here’s a look at some of the biggest projects to take place this year, according to city reports:

McAllister Wellfield. The city is constructing three wells, wellfield buildings, pumps, chlorination equipment and emergency power at the wellfield site, which is off state Route 510 in rural Thurston County. City officials say it will mean a more protected water supply, which is scheduled to begin flowing in 2014. Cost: $6.65 million.

McAllister transmission main. The city has been constructing a 36-inch diameter water main to connect the new wellfield to the city’s current water source at McAllister Springs. Cost: $4.8 million.

McAllister corrosion control treatment. Aeration towers will be constructed to raise the pH level of the water to be pumped for the wellfield to reduce corrosion in household plumbing. Cost: $3.4 million.

Automated meter reader replacement. The city is replacing or modifying about 20,000 water meters with automatic readers, which don’t need an on-site meter reader to confirm water usage. Cost: $5.7 million.

The Washington Center for the Performing Arts. Olympia’s arts center, at 512 Washington St. SE, will lose its leaky exterior and get a new one of brick and stone. The project includes a front canopy with lighting, custom windows, glass doors, a ticket window, poster display windows, another canopy over the adjacent alley and a permanent marquee sign. The work is to be finished this fall. Cost: $4.59 million.

West Bay Drive sidewalk. Crews will build a new curb and sidewalk along West Bay Drive from Brawne Avenue north to Smyth Landing. Cost: $2.66 million.

Sewer lift station upgrades. The city will reconstruct sewer lift stations at West Bay Drive, Woodcrest and Holiday Hills to increase pumping and storage capacity. Cost: $2.5 million.

Parking pay station replacement. Olympia is removing about 50 parking pay stations in the downtown core, which are not quite three years old, and replacing them with smart meters at each parking space. The move follows customer complaints that the pay stations are hard to use and a city report that they frequently break down.

Pacific Avenue stormwater facility. Crews will construct a new facility to treat stormwater runoff before it falls into Indian Creek. Cost: $868,000.

“Smart” corridors. The city will upgrade 37 traffic signal controllers to better coordinate signals and provide priority for transit. Cost: $691,000.

Black Lake sewer main. The city is upgrading a sewer main to the Black Lake lift station. Cost: $586,000.

Stormwater system improvements. This will involve constructing stairs, rails and metal catwalks at stormwater facilities to provide city crews with safe, reliable access for maintenance; installing a new vault and piping on Water Street; and replacing failed pervious sidewalk on Miller Avenue. Cost: $575,000.

Woodard Creek culvert. A culvert at Woodard Creek will be repaired. Cost: $447,000.

Pedestrian crossing improvements. A new crossing island on Capital Mall Drive near Archwood Drive and flashing beacons at two crossings on Harrison Avenue are part of the project. Cost: $300,000.

Library solar panels. The Olympia branch of the Timberland Regional Library will get a solar roof, using a grant from Puget Sound Energy. Educational materials are included. Cost: $56,000.

Matt Batcheldor: 360-704-6869

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