Contractor sought for downtown Issaquah parks project

August 28, 2012

By Warren Kagarise

The city is on the hunt for a contractor to start construction at the downtown parks along Issaquah Creek — a 15.5-acre expanse often referred to as the crown jewel in the municipal parks system.

The information for potential bidders outlines the site preparation and grading, picnic shelter construction, and sewer and water utility work planned for Phase 1. The contractor must also place a pre-manufactured restroom facility at the site, and add lighting, walkways, stone seating and walls, and plantings to the parks.

Officials allocated about $1 million for the initial phase. The amount is not enough to complete the ambitious plan for the site, but is enough to start the process.

In March, City Council members approved the overarching design outline, or master site plan, for the interconnected Tollë Anderson, Cybil-Madeline and Issaquah Creek parks across Rainier Boulevard North from Darigold. The action laid the groundwork for construction to start on the site.

The effort to complete the area as envisioned in the master site plan could stretch for years, or even decades.

The Berger Partnership, a Seattle-based landscape architecture firm, is the designer behind the master site plan.

The items included in the initial phase represent only a fraction of The Berger Partnership’s ambitious plan for the site. Later phases call for serpentine rock barriers, manmade knolls, open meadows, boulders for climbing and a horseshoe-shaped pedestrian bridge across Issaquah Creek.

Officials plan to open the bids at a public event Sept. 13. City parks staffers will then review the bids and recommend the lowest bidder to the council for consideration. The ultimate selection is left to the council.

“Once we start moving, it’s going to go pretty quick,” city Parks & Recreation Manager Brian Berntsen said Aug. 23.

The timeline hinges on the contractor and limits on construction, such as inclement weather.

“We just keep plugging along, and we want to get it done as badly as anybody else,” Berntsen said.

The downtown parks effort is the largest parks project since the city built Squak Valley Park South in 2008 and the most ambitious plan since officials agreed to a framework for Tibbetts Valley Park more than 20 years ago.

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