Sen. Karen Fraser, D-Olympia, and hundreds of community members descended on Olympia’s Percival Landing last Thursday afternoon to celebrate its grand re-opening. The landing reopened to the public following a $14 million renovation. The waterfront boardwalk had badly deteriorated and was partially closed for a year.
“The Landing has no greater friend than Sen. Fraser,” Olympia Mayor Doug Mah proclaimed, doubling as master of ceremonies. Funding for the project came from a variety of sources, including over $3 million from the Washington State Legislature, for which Sen. Fraser and Representative Sam Hunt took the lead. This funding included a legislative authorization of $555,660 from the Washington State Heritage Capital Projects Fund and $164,075 from the State’s Aquatic Lands Enhancement Account. The City of Olympia provided $9.3 million. In addition, a $1 million federal grant was approved by Congress at the request of US Senator Patty Murray.
City leaders spent seven years preparing this historic renovation project. The project was needed for two principal reasons: First, a 2004 structural assessment showed significant deterioration to the point that some sections of the Landing were closed to public use; and second, multiple environmental improvements were warranted to improve shoreline habitat. Portions of the original boardwalk are retained and were integrated as part of two new covered pavilions, a harbor house with rental space, and a footbridge crossing a newly-designed cove.
The City has also incorporated into the project art, history and cultural displays and explanations of the multiple environmental benefits from the project. “This is a landmark project and a signature day for the City of Olympia and the region as a whole,” Senator Fraser said. She also noted that “The organization and thought that went into the joyfulness and expressions of appreciation of the grand opening was extraordinary.”