|Main Street project recognized for excellence, partnership, economic development|
|Written by Carol Ladwig|
|Monday, 14 June 2010 10:58|
ShareDUVALL – The city’s new and improved Main Street, officially unveiled last July, has been recognized as an outstanding example of a public project three times this year.
Governor Christine Gregoire, the Association of Washington Cities (AWC), and the Washington chapter of the America Public Works Association (APWA) have all announced awards for the $4.5 million project to bury utility lines, improve safety, and add pedestrian-friendly areas and public art to the stretch of Hwy 203 running through historic Duvall.
The city, of course, is delighted with the recognition and the possibility that these awards can lead to more successful grant applications in the future. However, Main Street project manager Shaun Tozer said that even if the awards don’t necessarily result in more funding down the road, "It’s kind of good for everybody to say they’re a part of this."
Gov. Gregoire named Duvall one of the 2010 Smart Communities, whose efforts are helping the state to recover from the recent economic downturn. Each recipient excelled in planning for growth, wise land-use and resource management, and capitalizing on partnerships, such as Duvall’s cooperation with the Puget Sound Regional Council.
Tozer noted that the PSRC had identified Duvall’s Main Street as an area for improvement in its rural corridors study several years ago, and awarded the project about $1 million for design work.
City officials will receive the Smart Communities award June 24 at the AWC annual conference, where they will also accept a Municipal Excellence Award for economic development. The AWC recognized seven cities from the 50 applicants, and specifically noted Duvall’s efforts in revitalizing downtown while maintaining the city’s small-town character, with the help of a citizens’ advisory group. They were also recognized for developing and implementing a cohesive vision for the project.
The APWA named Duvall’s Main Street the Project of the Year in the less than $5 million category, on the basis of several criteria:
• Adherence to schedule – the project was completed within 5 percent of the allocated budget, and 1.5 days ahead of the 175 days allowed for construction.
• The city’s safety record during the project – there were no injuries significant to cause loss of work in the nearly 28,000 man-hours of work put in.
• Its outreach to the community during planning and construction – the city initiated a citizens advisory group to help direct the project design, frequently publicized the project in local media and on a project website, and held weekly meetings for all of the Main Street businesses during construction. It also hosted a construction carnival in the early spring to bring residents downtown and give them a closer look at the project, and hosted two grand openings of Main Street, so that more people could attend.
• Its quick handling of unusual circumstances – the discovery of an isolated patch of hydrocarbon-contaminated soil near the north end of the project. Tozer said they couldn’t be sure where the contaminant, a residue of various petroleum-based fuels, originated but "It was fairly isolated … near the Shell station, but not from the Shell station." To make sure they located and isolated all of the contamination, the city brought in a consultant for more soil sample tests, and within a few days, had gathered all of the tainted soil and had it incinerated at a facility in Everett.
Since the grand opening of the new Main Street, Tozer has moved on to other major projects, including planning renovations for the next section of Main Street, but he has also continued promoting the new look of Main Street to various organizations. Among them, 425 Magazine, the Seattle Times, and local television show "Evening Magazine," which may be planning to shoot a segment in the city when the weather improves.
He’s also busy pursuing grant funding for the city’s future projects, and he hopes that these awards will add a little clout to the city’s project funding applications. "It may not mean anything," he says, "but it does show that we have done good projects with their money in the past."
For the $4.5 million project, the city received $3 million from the state Transportation Improvement Board, $1 million from the Puget Sound Regional Council and $280,000 from the state Department of Transportation.
The KPG design firm created all of the designs for the Main Street project, and Tri-State Construction was the main construction contractor. WH Pacific provided construction management services.
For more on the city’s project, visit: http://www.duvallwa.gov/mainstreet_08/index_mainst.html or http://www.apwa-wa.org/committees/Awards/@%20City%20of%20Duvall%20-%20Main%20Street.pdf.