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Boardwalk teardown to start

In this July 19, 2010 file photo, Linda Oestreich, Olympia parks department director and Percival Landing project director Kip Summers walk along the boardwalk area.
In this July 19, 2010 file photo, Linda Oestreich, Olympia parks department director and Percival Landing project director Kip Summers walk along the boardwalk area. The Olympian

OLYMPIA - By the end of the week, people will no longer be able to access Percival Landing between State Avenue and Thurston Avenue because of a yearlong project to replace the aging boardwalk.

Kip Summers, project engineer for the city, said the fences will go up sometime this week.

For now, the playground and bathroom building will remain available, so that people can use it for Harbor Days. The festival, starring wooden boats, runs Sept. 3-5.

Summers said demolition on the boardwalk is set to begin next week and take two weeks. Then crews will restore the shoreline with native plants.

The floats that visiting boats use to visit the landing are anticipated to be closed until February, Summers said.

The City of Olympia is spending $10.5 million to tear out the boardwalk and replace it with a path over land. Of that, $1.1 million is federal funding, $3.7 million is state and $5.7 million is from the city. The city is also soliciting private donations.

It’s the first phase in the eventual replacement of the whole boardwalk. The city has spent $3 million designing the project.

The boardwalk, built in three phases from 1978 to 1985, is badly deteriorated. Since a 2004 structural study, the city has closed several portions of the boardwalk and shut off power to boat slips, and studied the boardwalk’s structure yearly to ensure its safety.

The city plans for a path over water because it’s easier to maintain.

The old creosote pilings that held up the boardwalk will be pulled from Puget Sound, improving its health.

The project includes a new, marine-themed restroom and two interpretive pavilions.

A new, 11-space parking area along Columbia Avenue will replace the parking that will be removed behind Les Schwab.

Most of Olympia Avenue will be turned into a pedestrian walkway with an entrance sign, adding new curbs, crosswalks and a stamped concrete finish, similar to Fifth Avenue.

And the Olympia Center’s parking lot will be revamped with new landscaping, irrigation and lighting to match the new Percival Landing.

“We’re really looking forward to it,” Summers said.

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