The Town of Friday Harbor shares an update about the status of the fire cleanup and road closures on Spring St.
The Town has been reworking the traffic configuration necessitated by the downtown fire.
Our initial traffic configuration was meant to last only a short while, never anticipating that the ATF would be called in and a lengthy investigation would be needed. Post-investigation, the contractor hired by the property insurers requested that we keep lower Spring St. closed to facilitate speedy debris removal. That speedy cleanup didn’t happen because testing of the debris revealed the presence of asbestos and lead. This means the debris cannot be taken to a nearby landfill but instead must be delivered to a permitted facility in Seattle. The contractor will be bringing in scales to weigh their trucks and there are other logistics involved, but we are making progress. Yesterday the Town issued a demolition permit to the contractor and we are told the cleanup will begin soon.
We understand the streets have been closed much longer than anyone anticipated, and we are moving ahead with plans to reconfigure the traffic flow to make it safer for the traveling public. This requires us to consider not only how vehicles move, but also pedestrian safety, the parking needs for downtown businesses, ferry offloads including large trucks needing to navigate tight corners, and the need to have access to busses and taxis. There are a lot of moving parts.
Thank you for understanding that because the fire was on private property, the Town is not responsible for — nor do we have control over — the cleanup. Even so, we are helping to facilitate the effort by issuing permits as soon as requested. We believe everyone is doing their best with a difficult situation, and we appreciate the efforts of the contractor to move this along as quickly as possible.