Why is this project taking so long?
The City has received numerous questions and concerns regarding the time this project is taking to construct. The common assertion is, “I watched Project X take only a month to complete; the Gravelly project is taking a year.” The reason why this project takes longer than other projects is related to the scope of the project. Each project has a separate scope. For instance, a patching or chip seal project will only take a day on a certain road or a week for the group of roads that a contractor performs annually. A project like Lakewood Drive between Steilacoom Boulevard and 74th only took a couple of months (they were two separate projects) to complete because there was just curb and sidewalk added prior to the contractor paving the road. Only minor adjustments to utility castings were required.
For the JBLM-North Access Improvement project, there are numerous utility partners working in conjunction with the City in order to upgrade, replace, and relocate their facilities. New water mains are being installed. New power poles are being set. Five separate communication entities are relocating their lines. Gas lines are relocating. The storm drainage along the corridor was antiquated and is being replaced. Street lighting is being added. The intersections are each being upgraded with roundabouts for safety.
The good news for people whose commutes have been impacted by this project is that it is a one time impact for the foreseeable future. Utilities have upgraded with the road construction work. The City understands the frustration that this project has burdened commuters and homeowners living along the project. The contractor and utility crews have worked on this project every day with the exception of the snow-filled week between Christmas and New Years. Those crews and the City appreciate the continued patience of all commuters.
Progress continues at the intersection of Washington and Gravelly. The contractor has installed of all the water main piping on the project and will test and connect it to the existing main next week. Then, they have a dozen services to connect, and the water portion of this phase will be complete.
PSE Gas will start their gas relocation along Washington next week. Construction of the new gas piping is expected to take three weeks.
PSE power will be relocating their power poles in the intersection of Gravelly and Washington next week. They will be relocating the transmission lines at the intersection of Gravelly and Interlaaken in two weeks. Communication companies will relocate their lines and poles along the job the following two weeks after PSE power is complete.