Logging in the WSU forest has already started to make room for both the future Costco, as well as to eventually extend 204th Avenue to state Route 410. Photo by Bailey Josie.

Bonney Lake prepares for Costco with SR 410 improvements

Costco is coming to Bonney Lake, but not before the city makes some improvements to the nearby highway.

As per the city’s development agreement with Visconsi Companies, partial owners of the Washington State University forest land in Bonney Lake, the city is responsible for constructing the intersection between 204th Avenue (off South Prairie Road East) and state Route 410.

To kick off this project, the City Council discussed at the March 21 workshop (and approved at the March 28 meeting) selling $4.8 million in general obligation bonds to fund the intersection improvements, which includes synchronizing the stop light at the intersection with all the other traffic lights between 192nd and 214th.

Synchronizing these lights would “improve traffic flow in the area,” City Administrator Don Morrison said in an interview around the time the city was looking to update its development agreement with Visconsi in September 2016.

However, a 2013 study by Seattle-based Transportation Engineering Northwest indicated SR 410 traffic will be slower overall with this new light, but traffic would be better guided with a traffic light than an unsignaled right-in, right-out system – an option that would limit access to Costco’s parking lot from the highway’s westbound lanes.

Engineers have estimated the 204th Avenue and SR 410 intersection will cost around $4 million, but the city will be selling almost a million extra in bonds “in case bids come in high or other unforseen events,” reads Ordinance D17-27, which was forwarded by the council to reappear for a vote on March 28.

The bidding process has already been opened and the city expected to start receiving bids on March 20, City Engineer John Woodcock said at the recent workshop, but as of that meeting, bid proposals had not been received.

Woodcock said he expects bid proposals to come in over the next few weeks.

The city plans on paying off the $4.8 million in bonds with a portion of the city’s share of sales taxes generated by Costco.

It’s been estimated that the business will bring in $300,000 to $500,000 in annual sales tax revenue after it opens.

Bonney Lake is responsible for paying for the intersection improvements, but Visconsi is in charge of extending 204th Ave, which currently does not connect to SR 410, as well as paying for the design of the highway improvements, Morrison said.

LOGGING IN FOREST ALREADY STARTED

The city selling bonds for the intersection improvements coincides with logging beginning in the WSU forest, where the Costco building will be erected.

According to a work and traffic plan by Abston Henricksen Land & Timber Co., the company is cutting trees to the 35 acre site that will house the Costco building.

The logging started last Monday, March 27, and will continue through Wednesday, April 5, mostly at night.

Night traffic control is expected to begin around 10:30 a.m. April 1 with flaggers being set up close to 208th Ave. East and just west of 97th St. Court East.

Flaggers will stop traffic in both directions to allow for safe tree cutting along the right-of-way for periods between three to 10 minutes for about five hours, the plan reads.

The company expects operations will not continue past 6 a.m. on April 2 for any reason.

Night and day commuters on South Prairie Road will also be affected by logging.

Flaggers will be placed near the South Prairie Road East/SR 410 intersection and in front of the medical center to control traffic on April 1 and 2, and estimated to be finished no later than 6 p.m. on that final day.

Flaggers will also be placed near the intersection of South Prairie Road East and 201th Avenue Court East and in front of the medical center on April 5, starting at 9 a.m.

Work is expected to finish no later than 2:30 p.m. that day.