2018 Water Street Enhancement Project

Port Townsend is getting ready for an adventure in the downtown historic district. The Water Street Enhancement Project will take place from January through June, 2018. The project will replace aging infrastructure, improve street drainage, add streetscape improvements and street trees, and lay foundation for undergrounding utilities. The $2.7 million project will enhance the downtown corridor, increase public safety and walkability with ADA improvements, lay the groundwork for undergrounding utilities and enhance the character of the downtown commercial historic district.

The Port Townsend Main Street Program is working with the City, the Chamber of Jefferson County, Team Jefferson, nonprofit leaders and local merchants to encourage community support to help businesses be sustainable during the project. Come see history in the making, and help local entrepreneurs survive and thrive during construction. The “Paving the Way for a Brighter Future” campaign features money-saving coupon books, special events and activities for all ages centered on downtown. To encourage multiple ways to connect with downtown, there will be special runs of PTeRider on select weekends in April and May.

We are collaborating with the Chamber and the EDC to offer FREE classes for downtown businesses during construction. These classes are underwritten by the City of Port Townsend and the First Federal Community Foundation grant —it’s free, first come first served!

EDC Business Classes: Email the EDC to sign up

  • Jan. 24 from 8 am-9:30 am: Get Your Books in order with QuickBooks Tips & Tricks.
  • Feb. 21 from 5:30 pm-7:00 pm Lean Thinking for Retailers.

Chamber Business Classes: Email the Chamber to sign up

  • Jan. 29 from 5:30 – 7 pm: Social Media
  • Feb. 12 from 5:30 – 7 pm: Marketing/Websites

Revisit this page for updates as the construction project draws near!

Special Events and Activities

January-June—Port Townsend “Believe or Knot!” Game—a fun excuse to come downtown, pique your interest in unbelievable facts (or fiction!) about the salty seaport of Port Townsend. Complete the game and be entered in prize drawings. Believe It Or Knot Game Card

January-June “Celebrity Concierges”—friendly volunteer greeters will answer questions and be there for you “In the Zone” from 1 to 3 pm on Saturdays during Construction. Customer TLC, coupon books, and maps to get you around downtown.

February – Local Love—show your local love by shopping & dining downtown during construction and tell us what you love about PT—details coming soon.

March – Historic Building Tours during Victorian Festival—Watch for information on tours March 24, 2018 as part of the Victorian Festival. The Jefferson County Historical Society will also offer downtown walking tours on Saturdays in March. www.jchsmuseum.org

April – “Step It Up!” Get your steps in and check in with the participating stores to be entered in a prize drawing.

May – May is Art Wave—children’s art in the stores. Additional arts-related events will be offered—stay tuned for developments.

June – Tyler Street Plaza Wrap-Up Party –join the party and celebrate the completion of the project and a beautiful new public space created on Tyler Street. Music, food and fun!


Port Townsend has an expansive list of special events throughout the year—from Strange Brewfest in January to the Race to Alaska and the Taste of Port Townsend in June, there are lots of reasons to come downtown during the construction period.

The public could check out Twisted History Ghost Tours, take part in the Port Townsend Film Festival’s Women in Film, get tickets to Key City Public Theatre events, take a PTeRider tour or grab your goggles for the Steampunk event in June.

The RevitalizeWA Conference is coming to Port Townsend April 23-25, 2018 with workshops, conference tours, social events and an awards banquet. The Port Townsend Main Street Program is expecting 250- 270 guests from across the state; it’s an opportunity to showcase Port Townsend’s historic districts, including lodgings, shops and restaurants.

Subject to change. Paving the Way to a Brighter Future is funded in part by the City of Port Townsend, First Federal and the Port Townsend Main Street Program.

Construction News

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Project Presentation

Photo: Jefferson County Historical Society. Hard Hat Logo: Max Grover