Sumner addresses traffic woes; March deadline to secure state funding

Unlike the rush hour traffic drivers experience on Traffic Avenue in Sumner, the city’s plans for improving the state Route 410 overpass seem to be moving along smoothly.

According to the DOT’s 2014 annual traffic report

Unlike the rush hour traffic drivers experience on Traffic Avenue in Sumner, the city’s plans for improving the state Route 410 overpass seem to be moving along smoothly.

In mid-January, the city put improving the highway overpass and the Traffic Avenue/Main Street intersection on the top of Sumner’s 2016 legislative goals, and since then, Sumner’s “hidden problem,” as Mayor Dave Enslow put it, has been getting noticed.

“Representative Stambaugh has made this a priority, and Rep. Stokesbary has also been very supportive,” said Carmen Palmer, Sumner’s communication’s director. “They’re trying to figure out what options there are as far as funding, given it’s a short session and given everything else going on with the state… But there’s lots of support, and we really appreciate that.”

Thousands of vehicles

According to the city, the traffic problem is multifaceted; Sumner’s population doubled since the overpass was built in 1967. Currently, more than 30,000 cars use the intersection and overpass every day, along with 3,000 freight trucks.

Traffic on SR 410 also contributes to the problem the city says the highway is congested about five hours a day.

And according to the DOT’s 2014 annual traffic report, the half-mile stretch of SR 410 that goes from the Puyallup River to past the East Main Ave ramps receives the most traffic on that highway.

On average, 71,000 vehicles drive past milepost 9.02, a third of a mile northwest of Sumner’s highway overpass, on a daily basis.

Milepost 9.53, located right after the ramp to East Main Avenue, has a daily average of 61,000 vehicles.

Milepost 10.12, located right before the SR 162 ramps, has an average of 60,000 vehicles pass it daily, making it the third most-traveled portion of the highway.

3-year plan

Starting this spring, Sumner plans to apply for funding in order to start the project design and environmental permitting process.

The cost for the design and engineering is estimated to be $2.2 million.

”The ideal scenario is to get $300,000 from the state to leverage a grant from the Puget Sound Regional Council that we would apply for this spring to do the design work,” Palmer said.

If the city secures state funding by the time the legislative session ends on March 10, the plan is to ask the Puget Sound Regional Council for $1.65 million to cover the bulk of the design costs.

The city also hopes that Sound Transit will kick in around $100,000 because the company plans to build a 500 stall garage in the area, but according to Palmer, that project is contingent on the interchange being improved.

Other sources of funding include local support from other cities and private companies for around $150,000 and a grant match for another $550,000.

According to the city, it’s important to secure funding for design planning and permitting this year because the Puget Sound Regional Council and Transportation Improvement Board make grants available every two years.

This means if the city misses the 2018 window for construction planning, it could be a while before any improvements are made.

Current projections estimate construction will cost $14.7 million.

Ideal funding situations involve the city securing $10.7 million in grants and the legislature help cover the remaining $4 million shortfall.

Use #SumTraffic on Twitter to let your city know about your traffic problems in Sumner.

More in News

Briley Conant, second from the left, and Zach Pederson, far right, ask other Sumner high schoolers to link arms in a show of unity and support for each other and other students around the nation. Photo by Ray Still
Unity, ‘radical civility’ preached at walkout

Sumner High School joined thousands of other students in a nation-wide walkout last week.

Buckley double homicide suspect charged

Jared P. T. Standley, 21, was charged with killing his parents in Buckley last week.

Podcast, scholarship created in memory of two sons

The Babst Memorial Scholarship, in memory of Garrett and J.T. Babst, will go to an Auburn Mountainview High School student to support their decision to go into trade school.

Modern lights aim to tame 410 traffic

Rush hour traffic between Enumclaw and Buckley is a drag. But a DOT project to modernize Buckley’s traffic lights could make smooth sailing of future trips.

County planning to finish Enumclaw trail, build bridge over White River

$2.8 million was allotted in the state legislature’s capital budget this year to jumpstart the project, which is expected to be compete between 2020 and 2021.

Reality House invites parents of teenagers

The Rainier Foothills Wellness Foundation is hoping to educate parents about about how to talk to their kids about the dangers of alcohol and drugs.

Despite the threat of rain and wind, hundreds turned out at Allan Yorke Park and lit candles in memory of the deceased. Photo by Ray Still
Plateau community honors two who died in avalanche

Hundreds of friends and family members attended the police procession and candlelight vigil last week for James Larsen and Zach Roundtree.

Local skater gearing up for Worlds, next Winter Olympics

Corinne Stoddard is expected to make it big in the world inline speed skating championship games later this summer.

Most Read