Farewell to Bremerton’s managing engineer

Gunnar Fredriksson explores Schley Canyon, off Lower Wheaton Way.
Gunnar Fredriksson explores Schley Canyon, off Lower Wheaton Way.

Gunnar Fredriksson has worked for the city of Bremerton for 17 years, rising to become its managing engineer for transportation. But an opportunity to work in Clark County and be closer to family has lured him south.

Fredriksson has managed the biggest of public works street projects in recent years, though he’s quick to give credit to those around him. He was hired here as a civil engineer primarily to take on the Gateway Project, which revamped the stretch of Burwell Street from the ferry terminal and snaked out all the way to Navy Yard Highway.

More recently, he was in charge of revamps of Pacific Avenue and Lower Wheaton Way, as well as numerous others.

Fredriksson, originally from Iceland, grew up as a “civil service brat” as his father worked between Naval stations on the island country, in Bermuda and in Adak, Alaska.

Mayor Patty Lent praised his accomplishments and said his void in the city will most certainly be felt. He called him “Mr. historian,” and said he possessed an invaluable institutional memory. She was also impressed with his zeal to improve the city.

“Anytime I needed something, he was always willing to take the work on, and it was always done with expertise and in a timely manner,” the mayor said.

Fredriksson said his love of the engineering projects he took on is simple.

“It’s fun being out there and watching something come out of the dirt,” he said.

In Clark County, he’ll be close to his brother, Jonas, who is a teacher in Battle Ground, and be construction manager for a department that completes around $25 million in road projects per year. He said he’s excited for the new opportunity but will miss Bremerton.

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