‘Malfunction Junction’ makeover begins

Construction began last week on Buckley's aptly-named "malfunction junction" and will create periodic – and reportedly minor – traffic inconveniences through its November completion.

‘Malfunction Junction’ will start to see construction on a new traffic light controlling traffic along SR 410. Construction is estimated to be finished by November. Submitted image.

Construction began last week on Buckley’s aptly-named “malfunction junction” and will create periodic – and reportedly minor – traffic inconveniences through its November completion.

A $1.8 million contract was awarded to Johansen Excavation for what is officially known, in city circles, as Phase 2 of the SR410/SR165/Ryan Road/112th Street East Realignment Project.

Phase 1 was constructed in 2011 and realigned Ryan Road and 112th Street to connect at a temporary intersection at SR 165.

Now, Phase 2 will:

• realign SR 165, bending it slightly west to create a “T” intersection at SR 410. A traditional red-yellow-green traffic light will be added where the highways meet, just west of where 410 curves to the north.

• realign River Avenue so it connects to Ryan Road at a “T” intersection.

• improve the intersection of SR 165 and 112th/Ryan Road, including additional street lighting;

• add pedestrian improvements along SR 165 between Ryan Road and SR 410;

• realign a portion of the Foothills Trail, allowing users to more safely cross SR 165.

According to information forwarded by the city, drivers can expect to see flaggers in the area during the coming weeks, along with some shifting of travel lanes. It was noted that, as of last week, there had been no lane closures requested.

There is an immediate impact for those who have used the park-and-ride site near the construction zone. It has been closed.

Those who enjoy the Foothills Trail will notice the paved section of trail has been closed between 112th and Wheeler Avenue, with detour signs noting a revised route.

The project carries an estimated total cost of $2.4 million, which includes the contractor bid, design engineering and construction engineering.

To pay for the work, the city received $1.6 million in federal funding, passed through the state’s Department of Transportation. Another $600,000 was obtained in the form of a grant from the state’s Transportation Improvement Board. Finally, the TIB authorized a bit more money to come Buckley’s way.

The funding shortfall – identified as a bit less than $170,000 – will be picked up by the city. The likely source is the Street Capital Account, which has a current balance of a little more than $700,000.

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