North Olympic reconstruction gets crosswalks, manhole covers

Jim Howell removes an old oil tank from the ground under his repair shop that was formerly a gas station. Howell has been waiting for two weeks to get the dirt inspected before refilling the hole. -
Jim Howell removes an old oil tank from the ground under his repair shop that was formerly a gas station. Howell has been waiting for two weeks to get the dirt inspected before refilling the hole.
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ARLINGTON As the curbs are set in the 100 block at the south end of North Olympic Avenue with plans to pave the first underlayment in the next two weeks, finishing details such as manhole covers and crosswalks are being installed on the north end of the street, and some merchants and property owners are making improvements to their own personal property on the avenue.
Steve Clariday spent the sunny Sunday, Sept. 9, painting the outside of his wifes Quis Thai Restaurant in the 300 block, covering a former mural on the north side of the building which never got completely covered at the last painting.
Diagonal across the intersection, Jim Howell spent his Sunday refilling one of four holes left after he removed four fuel tanks. He had already filled two holes and is waiting for the results of a test on the fourth one before refilling it.
I heard from the tester last week that he needed a new sample, Howell said, adding the other three holes were not contaminated.
The citys economic development consultant, Vic Ericson, who has been proactive in talking with building owners about upgrading their buildings following a set of guidelines created by a group of University of Washington urban design students, said that at least 15 building owners have projects in the works.
James M. Mucklestone has his proposal hanging in the window of his office, in the 500 block of North Olympic, Ericson said.
Next door to Mucklestone, Pazaaz Hair Salon has a nice new bench out front and down the street Bistro San Martin has returned its pots and flowers and bistro tables to the front.
Arlington Hardwares plan to expand into the corner parking lot at Second and Olympic was reviewed and approved by the Design Review Board at the Aug. 22 Planning Commission meeting. The design features large windows that will open to the street for special occasions.
Well be able to roll open the doors and be a part of the street fair, owner Mike Jones told the planning commission.
Across Second Street from the hardware to the south, Jim Donnelson is fixing up the big building known in recent years as the Nelson building and before that as the Moran building,
He is planning to paint the exterior, but I havent seen his color scheme yet, said Paul Ellis, the citys capital projects manager who has been coordinating the reconstruction project for more than three years now.
Its a big building and will have big impact on the street.
Another big impact will come when the new owner of the car wash, Dennis Wrigglesworth, demolishes the car wash to start construction on a brand new building designed by Gregory Minaker, at the corner of First and Olympic. The Wrigglesworth project has not been through design review yet.
Another big change in the 300 block is the expansion of Jaftys Cycle Works into the south side of the building formerly occupied by Kens TV repair shop. Now the entire building, originally designed in the 1940s for a car dealership, is painted orange, gray and black in honor of the Harley Davidson motorcycles serviced at Jaftys.
Ellis said that any property or business owners with plans for upgrades are invited to display their plans at the grand opening celebration set for Oct. 6, which includes a walking parade with all invited to join, a ribbon cutting on Division Street, speeches and live music at the gazebo in Legion Park, and The Bite of Arlington, with a chance to savor Arlingtons cuisine.
Out on the street, Ellis said that the subgrade in the last two-block section will start going down at the end of this week or early next week where the curbing is done.
The concrete crew will be back on Tuesday to do curbing on the final block, Ellis said Monday afternoon.
After the second coat of pavement was laid on the first two sections, crews have been cutting round holes in the nice new blacktop for the manhole covers
Theyre raising the iron for the manholes and valve covers, Ellis explained.
Other crews were imbedding thermal plastic for the crosswalks at the Fourth Street intersection Monday afternoon.
Its called inlaid thermal plastic, Ellis said.
The attractive $8,500 light posts have been installed as far as possible until more sidewalks are done. Trees have been planted on Fourth Street.
At the gazebo, glass windows by Kurt McVay are due to show up any day this week, Ellis said.
A work party has been set for Saturday, Sept. 29 when volunteers will be invited to come and rake the dirt, plant flowerbeds and help assemble picnic tables.
The hydro seed goes in after the party on Oct. 6, Ellis said.

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