Contract awarded for waterfront project

Port selects Nutter for infrastructure improvements

By Stephanie Rice, Columbian Vancouver city government reporter

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Nutter Corp. was awarded an $850,950 contract Tuesday by the Port of Vancouver for phase one of infrastructure improvements necessary for a proposed waterfront development.

The infrastructure improvements are a joint effort among the port, the city of Vancouver and Columbia Waterfront, said Theresa Wagner, spokeswoman for the port.

Columbia Waterfront, a group of private investors, plans on redeveloping a 30-acre former Boise Cascade mill site into a vibrant mix of retail and residential buildings plus a hotel and greenspace, with the city constructing a 10-acre park.

Phase one work includes installation of deep stormwater, sewer and water lines for extensions of Columbia Way and Esther and Grant streets, which will serve six waterfront parcels owned by the port and properties owned by Columbia Waterfront, Wagner said.

Earlier this summer, bicycle advocates questioned the design of Columbia Way, which branches off Columbia Street and will serve as the east-west arterial to the development. Plans call for one lane in each direction, with on-street parking and shared bicycle lane markings, or "sharrows." Advocates wanted dedicated bike lanes. Vancouver City Manager Eric Holmes said last week that the design has not changed for Columbia Way, but Esther and Grant streets will have bike lanes.

Barry Cain, president of Tualatin, Ore.-based Gramor Development, co-owns the site with four investors as part of Columbia Waterfront.

Cain said in June he believes shared lane markings will work. He noted the speed limit will be 20 miles per hour, but anticipates people will drive slower than the speed limit.

The blocks will be short, Cain said, and he thought it would be more dangerous for cyclists if they were in and out of bike lanes.

"This will be real pedestrian-friendly," Cain said.