Patty in the News

OLYMPIA - U.S. Sen. Patty Murray joined local leaders Friday in celebrating the upcoming $10.5 million revamp of Percival Landing, which is scheduled to begin in August and last a year. It's the first phase of the planned work and involves replacing boardwalk – from State Avenue to Thurston Avenue, some 725 feet.

Murray said the project means “jobs, hundreds of jobs, right here” for the construction.

“This is absolutely critical for the economy,” she said.

Murray, who secured $1.1 million of the funding for the project, toured the landing with city leaders before speaking to a small crowd of political leaders. Also attending were state Rep. Sam Hunt; Olympia Mayor Doug Mah; port commissioners George Barner and Bill McGregor; and City Council members Jeannine Roe, Craig Ottavelli and Steve Langer.

The new Percival Landing path will be built on land with wood and concrete, a departure from the existing wooden boardwalk constructed over the water. The old creosote pilings that held up the boardwalk will be plucked from Puget Sound, improving its health, and the shoreline will be restored with native plants.

A new, marine-themed bathhouse will be constructed, along with two interpretive pavilions.

In addition to the $1.1 million federal contribution, $3.7 million for the work came from the state and $5.7 million came from the city. The city has spent $3 million designing the project.

Linda Oestreich, director of the city’s parks and recreation department, said the city plans a fundraiser for the landing this summer.

The boardwalk was built in three phases from 1978 to 1985. The portion from State Avenue to the area around The Oyster House on Fourth Avenue has been designed but won’t be replaced because there’s no funding for it yet.

Plans include a marine-themed playground that could have a wooden ship, a fort and a bird’s nest to play in, with sculptures of an octopus and other marine animals. Other plans are a concrete boardwalk on pillars that will go over the water and new floats and gangways.

The city has been considering replacing the boardwalk since 2004, when a structural report showed significant deterioration. Since, the city has closed several portions of the boardwalk and shut off power to boat slips. The city studies the boardwalk’s structure each year to ensure it’s safe.

Oestreich said the city held the celebration Friday, instead of next month, because Murray has a busy schedule and “It’s an opportunity for her to get a close-up look at what we’re going to build,” she said.

- The Olympian