OLYMPIA – The public use of roads, parks and trails around Capitol Lake will be disrupted at times over the next several months because of a bevy of construction projects by state and local governments.
Pedestrians accustomed to walking the 1.5-mile, loop trail around the lake’s north basin will be restricted in May, September and October by two projects that will close the pedestrian bridge linking Marathon and Heritage parks.
Sewer and water projects will hamper traffic at times on Deschutes Parkway and Lakeridge Drive, beginning this month.
“We have the LOTT Alliance, the city of Olympia and state Department of General Administration all doing projects, which is somewhat unusual,” noted General Administration spokesman Jim Erskine.
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The inconvenience to the public will be outweighed by improved public safety, increased use of reclaimed wastewater and better access to lakeside parks for the disabled, project officials said.
Here’s a rundown of the projects.
• The LOTT Alliance will begin work this week on a $2.6 million project to deliver reclaimed wastewater from its Budd Inlet treatment plant to the Tumwater Valley Municipal Golf Course.
At peak demand in the irrigation season, the golf course will be the largest single user of reclaimed wastewater in the South Sound – roughly 600,000 gallons a day, LOTT spokeswoman Lisa Dennis-Perez said.
Through May 25, a LOTT contractor will be converting an existing 20-inch sewer line between Marathon and Tumwater Falls parks into a reclaimed water line. That will lead to occasional traffic delays on Deschutes Parkway.
In September, another phase of the water reclamation project will require a new water line from Marathon Park to Heritage Park across the pedestrian bridge. Portions of the bridge will be dismantled and replaced, making it off limits to the public for about two months.
• The pedestrian bridge will also be closed May 11-29 while General Administration installs 11 new light posts and energy-efficient LED lights on each side of the bridge. The two state parks connected by the bridge are open 5 a.m. to 11 p.m.
“It’s good that they’re putting in more lights for safety,” Diana Smith said Monday as she crossed the bridge with her dog, Nora.
• Parking will be reduced May 11-29 in the Fifth Avenue parking lot serving Heritage Park as state crews build a new path from the sidewalk to the lakefront path for people who use wheelchairs.
• In mid-May, several areas of poor drainage on pathways at the northeast end of Heritage Park will be improved to keep water from pooling. The trail will remain open.
• General Administration will install 10 educational signs around the lake in early May, describing the results of various reports and studies leading to a decision in the months ahead on whether to keep the man-made Capitol Lake or convert it back to the Deschutes River estuary. A lake management committee will make a recommendation to the General Administration director this summer.
• The city of Olympia will start a 10-month project this month to build a water pump station and water line along Deschutes Parkway near Marathon Park.
Lakeridge Drive will be closed to drivers periodically during the project, which is designed to improve water pressure for residents on the city’s west side.