Emergency action paves way to quick fix on 76th

By Paul Archipley | Nov 14, 2013

The teeth rattling days for citizens traversing 76th Avenue West for much of the past year may be coming to an end.

Residents of the Perrinville neighborhood have endured a sewer and water main project that has kept 76th torn up for months.

When the original contractor, Santana Trucking & Excavating, defaulted on its contract, the already slow work ground to a halt.

Finding a fix hasn’t been easy, because two cities have been involved.

The overall project belongs to Lynnwood, which needed to tear up the street to replace a sewer line.

Edmonds officials, seeing an opportunity to replace an aged water main at the same time, piggybacked their project so that the street wouldn’t have to be torn up a second time later.

According to Edmonds Public Works Director Phil Williams, the street is now covered with steel sheets covering portions of the partially installed water main.

There are dips, bumps and other imperfections that make traversing the road “difficult and possibly unsafe,” Williams said.

On Tuesday, the Edmonds City Council unanimously approved a resolution declaring an emergency and waiving the usual public bidding requirements.

The council authorized Mayor Dave Earling to sign contracts with Earthworks Enterprises, to complete the water main portion of the work, and Lakeside Industries, to follow that with a temporary asphalt overlay.

The last wrinkle requires the City of Lynnwood to commit to reimburse Edmonds for the temporary asphalt overlay.

If Lynnwood agrees, it would remove the temporary overlay next spring and permanently repair the street, curbs and sidewalks.

“The good news is, if nothing major new crops up, we’ll be able to finish the project with the money we have,” Williams said.

Total cost of the Edmonds’ portion of the project was budgeted at about $765,800. Williams said Lynnwood has spent “a couple of million” so far on its portion of the project.

The new contractors have agreed to contracts that would keep Edmonds within budget.

Williams said staff asked for the emergency resolution so that repairs can be made before winter sets in.

76th Avenue resident Jeff Palmer, speaking before the council Tuesday, urged the council to act.

Expressing concerns about protecting homes from flooding, Palmer said, “The neighborhood’s sort of been a disaster for the past six months.”

Serving as a neighborhood watchdog on the project, he said Lynnwood had not been responsive to his concerns when he saw Santana violating safety regulations and other unacceptable practices.

“I found Lynnwood too often turned a deaf ear,” Palmer said.

He also suggested Edmonds put Santana on a list of ineligible contractors for future projects.

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