Crews continue Griffin project in Enumclaw

Road crews have been busy grinding away the existing Griffin Avenue surface

Some inconvenience now, a smoother ride later and, eventually, another traffic light on state Route 410 – all are part of the ongoing project that will see more than $3 million spent on Enumclaw asphalt.

Work on the Department of Transportation project has been in evidence since the first week of May, when crews began upgrading 90 pedestrian ramps at more than two dozen intersections. The slope of the existing curb cuts is too extreme to comply with modern standards set by the Americans With Disabilities Act.

Last week, things took a more dramatic turn, as Griffin Avenue became a one-way corridor during daytime hours. Eastbound traffic on the heavily-traveled avenue was detoured while westbound drivers maneuvered through work sites.

The project, which will see work crews in town into the fall, stretches about a mile and a half. Improved will be the Griffin Avenue surface from High Point Street to the junction of Griffin and SR 410. That stretch of Griffin does double duty as the easternmost leg of state Route 164.

“Decades of use, combined with abandoned railroad tracks and a section of buried 100-year-old broken concrete, have caused the pavement…to crack and separate,” according to the DOT website. “Over the years, WSDOT maintenance crews have sealed the large cracks and patched potholes to help hold the roadway together. Now it is time for a longer-lasting fix.”

The website notes Griffin Avenue was last paved in 1998.

As part of the overall project, the DOT also will be installing a traffic light at the intersection of Watson Street and 410.

The DOT commissioned a traffic study, which showed enough vehicle trips to justify a light. The intersection has Safeway on one side and McDonald’s on the other and, on the south side, has seen growth in both businesses and homes.

A schedule for installation of the traffic light has not been finalized. A DOT spokesman said a decision will likely not come until July, with installation likely during the latter part of the summer.

According to the DOT website, the total project cost is a bit more than $3.2 million.