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City receives $500,000 for pathway project

The City of Port Orchard received $500,000 from the state to ramp up the Bay Street Pedestrian Pathway.

The money came from the state’s $1.1 billion capital-improvement budget passed during the recent budget session. The money will be used exclusively to construct a portion of the city’s Bay Street Pedestrian Path, a multi-purpose path beginning at Waterfront Park near Downtown and ending at the Annapolis ferry facility.

The Path is part of the expansive Mosquito Fleet Trail, intended to eventually connect Kingston and Southworth along the eastern shore of Kitsap County.

The city’s planning director, James Weaver, said the $500,000 will be used to begin construction of Phase 1 of the pathway project. He said the funding for the project was secured through the handwork of the city’s legislative lobbyist, state legislators, the mayor and the city staff.

“Everyone worked hard to keep this in the budget,” he said.

Projects that were shovel ready were given top priority in order to better increase job growth across the state, Weaver said.

Construction was already slated to start this summer near Marina Park, continuing the trail from the existing boardwalk, and that the money received from the state should keep work going through the fall. He said the construction should continue up to BlackJack Creek.

“We should keep working this fall,” Weaver said. “You’ll see major progress.”

Weaver said an expansion of the trail over the BlackJack Creek Bridge will be a costly portion of the project, expected to cost upward of $350,000. The city is applying for different grants, including an Aquatic Lands Enhancement Account for $1 million, to secure funding for that portion of the project.

“It’s a process,” he said.

 

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