Sasquatch arrival in Washougal will be delayed

Bids on children’s play area higher than expected

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A children's natural play area that was expected to open later this year at Washougal Waterfront Park will instead be built in 2019, due to higher than expected construction bids. The play area will include a hillside slide, log steppers, xylophone, drums, willow tree tunnels, a boulder maze, log balancing beams, a climbing rope and a Sasquatch sculpture named "Eegah," at 335 S. "A" St., Washougal. (Contributed by Greenworks, P.C.)

Children who were looking forward to seeing a Sasquatch sculpture in a natural play area at Washougal Waterfront Park this fall or winter will have to wait until 2019, due to higher than expected construction bids.

The Port of Camas-Washougal had budgeted $350,000 for the project, to be located on part of the former Hambleton Lumber Company property, at 335 S. “A” St., Washougal.

Port Project Manager Mark Miller recently informed the Port Commission that two bids were received. Paul Brothers Inc., of Boring, Oregon submitted a bid of $429,700, with an 8.4 percent sales tax of $36,094, the total construction cost would be $465,794.

Tapani Inc., of Battle Ground, bid $450,000, with a sales tax of $37,800, that would total $487,800.

“We could go out to bid again in December,” Miller said to commissioners. “It puts us a year behind.”

Miller said the project plans and specifications were posted in the Daily Journal of Commerce Oregon (DJC) in order to reach the most contractors.

“We will repost it in the DJC in November/December 2018. with construction (in the) summer or fall of 2019,” he said.

Miller said the “bid climate” is high right now because of a busy summer construction season, as well as limited availability of workforce and increasing costs of materials.

“Construction is much easier in the summer without contending with the rain, which means more projects (are) scheduled over the summer months,” he said.

Miller added that having a busy construction season puts additional strain on a limited workforce.

“Most young people are looking to go into a computer based or high tech professions, which means fewer people looking for employment in the construction industry or a trade,” he said. “This means that labor is limited, and demand is high.”

Miller said the imposition and threat of tariffs at the federal level have caused material costs to rise substantially since the first of the year.

The Sasquatch sculpture named “Eegah” — designed by ID Sculpture, of Gunnison, Colorado — would be made of reinforced steel, GeoFoam and glass-fiber-reinforced concrete. The figure would be situated near “Erric the Erratic,” a boulder that traveled on a glacier from Canada to the Camas-Washougal area in the Missoula Floods.

GreenWorks, P.C., a Portland landscape architecture and environmental design firm, developed concept plans for the children’s play area. It will include a hillside slide, log steppers, xylophone, drums, willow tree tunnels, log balancing beams and a climbing rope.