After a short public hearing with exactly zero commenters, the Buckley City Council passed its six-year Transportation Improvement Plan, setting a tentative schedule of various road projects in the near future.
A total of 24 projects are expected to be tackled between 2020 and 2025, assuming funding for each project is secured.
Buckley, like all other Washington cities, has to annually update the state with its proposed transportation projects in order to be eligible for grant money. That does not mean these projects are set in stone, and price estimates and targeted starting dates are free to be adjusted.
Many projects are run-of-the-mill upkeep tasks, like surface grinding, chip sealing, and asphalt overlay, but several larger projects are on the city’s docket.
One of those larger projects includes connecting the Foothills Trail over the White River, which is broken into two phases.
Phase one of the project is a trail extension, bringing the trail right up to where a proposed pedestrian bridge will cross the White River into Enumclaw, just a few hundred feet east of the state Route 410 White River bridge.
This project is expected to cost nearly $300,000, to be funded through a combination of city funds and grant money.
Phase two is the big-ticket item — constructing the bridge. The project is estimated to cost more than $7.1 million, though the bill is being footed by King and Pierce counties, the Washington State Recreation and Conservation Office, and the state’s Surface Transportation Program (which is funded through the Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act).
Both projects are scheduled to begin in 2023. However, King County officials have stated that the trail extension could start as soon as 2020, and construction of the bridge could begin in 2021 or 2022.
The Enumclaw side of the trail is already being expanded to get near the White River, and is expected to be finished in the fall of this year.
Another large project is Phase 2 of the Ryan Road reconstruction.
Phase 1 started in March 2006 and was estimated to cost around $1.7 million, according to City Administrator David Schmidt; Phase 2 includes tearing up and widening Ryan Road from Spiketon Road to Davis Street, installing a sidewalk on one side of the road, and replacing water and sewer mains.
Drivers who rely on this section of road shouldn’t have to worry about this project for almost another decade, as it’s currently slated to begin in 2028. The estimated price tag of $3 million is expected to be covered by city revenue and funds from the Transportation Improvement Board.
Other potentially disruptive projects include:
• Reconstructing the Pearl Street and Jefferson Avenue intersection. The estimated $80,000 project includes replacing and upsizing the existing water main in the area sometime in 2021.
• Improving Division Street, starting at Ryan Road and going north to the Pearl Street and Jefferson Avenue intersection. This $1.5 million project, expected to be tackled in 2022, also includes replacing and upsizing a water main.
• Reconstructing Main Street from River Avenue to SR 410, as well as improving the River Avenue and Main Street intersection, which includes adding a sidewalk, street lighting, and other landscape amenities, as well as installing some sort of traffic signal and turn lanes. These separate projects, estimated to cost $326,000 and $1.2 million respectively, are slated for 2024.
• Improving the pedestrian facilities on Spiketon Road from Mountain View Avenue to the south city limits, which includes installing sidewalks, gutters, and street lights. The $1.25 million project is scheduled for 2025.