Committee recommends council reject waterfront redevelopment bids, delay bulkhead removal

City Engineer Rob English outlines for Councilmember Kristiana Johnson the plan to split the project into two contracts. (Photo by Larry Vogel)

At its regular Tuesday evening meeting, the City Council Parks and Public Works Committee voted to recommend that the council reject the first round of bids received for the Waterfront Redevelopment Project. The work is being planned in conjunction with construction of the new Waterfront Activity Center, which will replace the current Edmonds Senior Center.

The project includes creating a new parking area, reclaiming and restoring beach habitat, and removing the bulkhead and seawall that supports the section of the current parking area north of the senior center that butts out onto the beach.

The current parking area supported by the bulkhead/seawall will be reconfigured with removal of the seawall and restoration of the beach area in a similar fashion to Brackett’s Landing Park South, the green area adjacent to the ferry terminal.

“Our plan is to create a beach habitat similar to what is now in Brackett’s Landing South,” explained Deputy Parks Director Shannon Burley. “Providing that smooth transition from the parking area and walkways to the beach area means that the bulkhead needs to go, and the aim of this project includes both removing it along with completing the new parking area and beach habitat.”

But since the two bids received were both significantly higher than engineering estimates, staff from the city’s parks and engineering departments asked the committee to recommend that they be rejected.

This artist’s rendering shows the completed project with a new reconfigured parking area, walkway, and restored beach habitat to the immediate north of the new Waterfront Center. The dotted line indicates the location of the current seawall, scheduled for removal as part of this project.

While the parking area portion of the project can be completed at any time, the bulkhead removal cannot. Because much of the demolition and restoration work will be done on the beach and intertidal zones, it is critical that it be timed to have the least impact on fish and other wildlife, which means it must be started and completed within a July to September timeframe.

Re-advertising and re-bidding the project means that this time restriction could not be met this year.

Joining the discussion was City Engineer Rob English, who explained that this requirement led to consideration of splitting out the bulkhead/seawall removal as a separate project, and scheduling it to be completed at a later date, possibly after completion of the Waterfront Center. Parking lot improvements could move forward, and assuming a successful bid process, could begin as soon as this fall.

The Waterfront Redevelopment Project in plan view.

“Right now we’re evaluating which components fit best in which contract,” explained Burley. “A big part of this decision will be determining the best way to observe the ‘fish window’ and ensure we have minimal impact on the environment. Whether to include the beach grading and walkway in the parking area or the bulkhead removal contract has yet to be decided.”

The committee voted to add the bid rejection to the upcoming consent agenda, with the understanding that the council will be briefed on the new scopes of work as these are finalized.

In other actions, the committee questioned city staff on the need to replace their 10-year-old video sewer inspection vehicle and equipment. Councilmember Kristiana Johnson suggested looking at whether the both the camera equipment and the vehicle need to be replaced, or whether new camera setups could be retrofitted to the existing vehicle. Staff stressed the need to ensure compatibility, and added that the electrical system on the existing vehicle would have to be jury-rigged to operate the updated camera equipment and would be less reliable. After discussion, the committee agreed, and added this to the upcoming council consent agenda.

The committee was also briefed on the 2020-2025 Six-year Transportation Improvement Plan, and added approval of special events contracts with the Edmonds Chamber (Fourth of July, Taste Edmonds and Car Show), supplemental agreements for the Dayton Street Pump Station project, two interlocal agreements with Snohomish County, a utility easement for the Dayton Street Pump Station, and a supplemental agreement with Blueline Construction Management for project management services to the upcoming consent agenda.

— By Larry Vogel


4 Replies to “Committee recommends council reject waterfront redevelopment bids, delay bulkhead removal”

  1. What a wonderful choice for Citizen of the Year! My Edmonds News and the other news media Teresa manages are great additions to our community news. Local projects are given the exposure to the public that they deserve Congratulations, Teresa.


    1. Thanks, Barbara — we didn’t list all the past winners but I was thrilled to see your name there as a former Citizen of the Year!


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