City issues final update for 2006 on Olympic Ave. project

ARLINGTON On Dec. 18, city of Arlington Capital Projects Manager Paul Ellis presented the Arlington City Council the final update on the North Olympic Avenue Reconstruction Project before the start of the New Year.
Ellis predicted that Perteet Engineering would finish the final draft of its design plan for street construction shortly after Christmas, which would then be reviewed by city staff members and representatives of the Arlington School District, the Snohomish County Public Utility District, Comcast, Verizon and other affected agencies, in order to be sent back for final revisions.
Ellis likewise anticipated that the request to go out to bid would be put before the City Council by mid-January of next year, in time for the Council to approve a contractor before the end of February, so that the contractor could break ground as early as mid-March.
Ellis has previously explained that construction would then proceed on a section-by-section basis, from one end of the street to the other, with pedestrian access maintained for as long as possible, along the whole length of the street, since the sidewalks would be taken up last.
Turning to the citys goal of aiding the streets businesses and other property owners in revitalizing their downtown, Ellis reported that University of Washington graduate students would be available to those on Olympic Avenue to provide free consultations on how they might best match their buildings to their original historic color schemes and facade styles, although he emphasized that if youre looking to do much more than a coat of paint, youll need to talk with a local professional architect, since the UW grad students cant put themselves in competition with those businesses.
Another source of renovation assistance for the merchants and residents of Olympic Avenue would be Community Capital Development, a non-profit organization providing financial support to local businesses, by connecting them to grant programs and floating them loans to cover commerce lost during the construction period. Ellis elaborated that CCD also provides technical support to such businesses, by helping them develop business plans for themselves.
In the meantime, Ellis advised businesses and other property owners on Olympic Avenue to watch for an upcoming meeting with city staff near the end of January, at a date and time yet to be determined, during which city staff will respond to merchants and residents concerns.

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