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Pacific Avenue’s ‘punch list’ is getting longer

Brand new bollards installed on Pacific Avenue are chipped and rusting. - Kevan Moore/staff photo
Brand new bollards installed on Pacific Avenue are chipped and rusting.
— image credit: Kevan Moore/staff photo

The Pacific Avenue Project “punch list,” a sort of to-do list before contractors can walk away from a job, is growing

Parking signs installed in planter beds are wobbly and don’t meet state or city standards; there are cracked concrete sidewalks, stamped concrete intersection crosswalks made to resemble brick work along the length of Pacific is already fading and new bollards, bright blue powder coated posts, installed in front of the planetarium are chipped and rusting.

The defective brick-stamped concrete issue, most visible at the intersection of 11th and Pacific, resembles the intersection of Fourth and Pacific where ornamental salmon were stamped into the intersection during the original phase of corridor improvements but have already worn away and are no longer visible. Those powder coated bollards installed in front of the Pacific Planetarium are mere inches from a freshly poured concrete slab with a huge crack. And many of the signs along the corridor, lacking any concrete foundation, seem like they could topple in a light breeze.

Those defects are the latest in a long list of shortcomings that include spalling concrete, sidewalks that don’t meet city specifications for depth and foundation, Americans with Disabilities Act concerns in front of homes and a business, misplaced drainage collection points and shoddy concrete separation joints. In addition, at least one business owner along the construction corridor alleges that contractors used private dumpsters to discard unneeded materials and waste at the expense of nearby property owners.

Bremerton Public Works Director Chal Martin said in an email this week that he would look into the allegation of private dumpsters being used by contractors.

The original contract amount for the Pacific Avenue Project was $3,131,378, but the latest cost projection for the project comes in at $4.1 million. The city council has also voted to offer contractors an $18,000 incentive to pay for overtime in order to finish the project ahead of schedule.

Concerns about the quality of construction work on the Pacific Avenue Project were first raised several weeks ago by a pair of residents. Martin did a walk-through of the project work site with the residents and later said that concerns that were raised would be addressed before signing off on all of the work.

“In general, our approach is we’re going to address every one of these issues in one way or another,” Martin told city councilors during a work study session. “Some of the responses I’m anticipating will be, ‘We looked at this and we’re not going to take action.’ ”

In general, despite cost overruns or other issues, Martin has praised the project.

“In the case of this project, truly, this is a success story,” Martin said in responding to questions about cost overruns. “It truly is a success story. We’ve got this wonderful new street that’s almost done and the cost overruns, in my view, are not a significant issue for a project of this size and complexity.”

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