News

SR 410 work moves slowly

By Dennis Box

The Courier-Herald

As Eastown moves toward a commercial development boom, city officials and residents wonder if the road will lead the way.

The expansion of state Route 410 between 214th Avenue East and 234th Avenue East with the realignment of the 234th avenue intersection is in the design phase, but it is years away from construction.

According to state Department of Transportation Project Engineer John McNutt with the addition of the funds from the 9-cent gas tax the project is fully funded at about $25 million.

“We are focusing on the design of the storm water treatment right now,” McNutt said. “We will end up with a contract plan.”

Once the plan is complete, right of way acquisition will begin with bid contracts going out in late 2008 and construction starting in the spring of 2009.

From the city's perspective, with growth bursting from every seam, 2009 to 2010 seems like an eternity.

“We will be meeting with the engineers to see why this project is being delayed so long,” Mayor Neil Johnson said. “We've been hearing a lot of different things about the project being pushed back again.”

Johnson said he plans to move “up the ladder” to the governor if he can't get answers.

“I want to bring this project up to today's timeline and it's a matter of making it a priority,” Johnson said.

The project has been on the county's drawing board since the early 90s and has been in the design phase since 1997.

According to McNutt funding has been the major snag. The project was still on the back burner until the 9-cent gas tax was passed last year. The gas tax provides about $13 million for the project. Nearly $6 million came from the 5-cent gas tax passed in 2003. About $4.4 million came from existing funds and more than $500,000 in funds collected from businesses.

The project will add one lane in each direction between 214th and 234th, with two left turn lanes.

The intersection at 234th Avenue East will be realigned with a signal light added.

Dennis Box can be reached at dbox@courierherald.com.

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