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Posted on Jun 27, 2019

DOT says it didn’t delay project

Quincy City Council member Josey Ferguson said during the June 18 council meeting that the Washington Department of Transportation delayed the roundabout project by 20 days. That remark was not disputed during the meeting, but the facts are unclear.
After the meeting, Ferguson said he believed the delay happened after construction on the roundabout at State Route 28 and 13th Avenue SW began and was over stormwater drainage design. He said the city knew how drainage on the project had to be done but DOT wanted the drainage designed another way, a way that would not work because of utilities in the ground.
Lauren Loebsack, communications manager of DOT’s North Central Region, said it was DOT’s understanding that any project slowdown didn’t have anything to do with DOT. Rather, after work began, more underground utilities were found than expected and they had to be addressed.
Asset engineer Bill Gould with DOT, also in Wenatchee, gave a similar comment about underground utilities. Such things happen regularly in these projects in small rural cities with old infrastructure.
Gould said DOT doesn’t have authority over what is underground. It has oversight interest, because when the project is done, DOT will take over maintenance of surface elements such as pavement, curbs, striping and signs.
The department worked with the city, he said, but drainage and design are the responsibility of the city of Quincy.
“We don’t have approval authority,” Gould said.

By Dave Burgess, news@qvpr.com