Looking east on March 9 from Mundy Loss Road, the years of wear-and-tear on 112th Street East in Buckley are apparent. The city aims to grind and repave nearly a mile of the road from its intersection at Mundy Loss Road to Highway 165. Photo by Alex Bruell

Looking east on March 9 from Mundy Loss Road, the years of wear-and-tear on 112th Street East in Buckley are apparent. The city aims to grind and repave nearly a mile of the road from its intersection at Mundy Loss Road to Highway 165. Photo by Alex Bruell

Buckley council OK’s plan for 112th Street East overlay project

Council also approved a stormwater ordinance, and discussed skatepark safety efforts.

A popular Buckley road is set to get a facelift come this year or next, likely limiting access to local commuters.

The City Council voted unanimously Tuesday, Narch 9 to approve an engineering proposal to replace about a mile of pavement on 112th Street East. This could be one of the city’s last road projects to receive plentiful and relatively less competitive transportation grants due to Buckley’s status as a growing town.

The work involves grinding out the road’s top two inches of pavement and overlaying new asphalt for nearly a mile of roadway on 112th Street East from Mundy Loss Road to SR 165.

The road had its last resurfacing about two decades ago and it’s in need of another, Mayor Pat Johnson said. Crocodile cracks criss-cross the road, which handles traffic from commuters, industrial and agricultural businesses, residents and school busses bound toward Mountain Meadow Elementary.

Currently, the project is slated to start construction in 2022, according to a memo from the Public Works Department to the city.

“It’s going to start deteriorating quite rapidly, especially when we get rain and freezing,” Johnson said. “The ice expands and just tears it up more.”

But the city is crossing its fingers that weather and other conditions will allow them to break ground — or more accurately, asphalt — on the project this summer, Johnson said. That would avoid putting the road through another winter and allow construction crews to work on it while Mountain Meadow students are on summer break.

Johnson said that the project will generally turn the road into a one-way but won’t require shutting the whole street down. It’s also possible that the construction could be done mostly at night, she said, further reducing traffic impacts.

Seattle engineering firm Gray & Osborne, which the city often contracts with for projects, prepared the proposal at a cost of about $66,900, roughly $10,000 of which came from the City roads fund.

The lion’s share of the proposal was paid by a state Transportation Improvement Board (TIB) grant available to Buckley under the state’s Small City program, designed for cities with populations under 5,000 people. A separate program oversees grants for larger cities.

About $720,000 of the roughly $845,800 overall cost for project comes from the TIB, while the remainder comes from several city sources including the general fund, road budget and gas tax money.

The city has been aggressive in pursuing those grants and lucky in receiving them, Johnson said. But Buckley will soon have to start competing in the major leagues: The city’s population was 4,354 at the 2010 census, and a 2019 estimate put the city at 5,058 people.

“This’ll be one of the last things we get under the small cities category,” Johnson said. “We’re sure when the census comes out that we’ll have gone over 5,000 people.”

Also on Tuesday, the council:Approved an ordinance to adopt the city’s 2021 Stormwater Management Program. All but council member Sundstrom voted to approve the ordinance.

Unanimously approved an agreement with the Buckley Chamber of Commerce to lease a City reader board to the Chamber for a fee of $250 per year.

Unanimously approved an agreement naming Dr. Paul Satterlee as the advising physician for the City of Buckley Fire Department. Satterlee replaces Dr. Jeffrey Morse, who after nearly 15 years in the role announced late last year that he was looking to retire once a suitable replacement was found.

Discussed drafting an ordinance for the next council meeting (March 23) to amend the municipal code to require helmets at the Buckley skatepark.

Heard a report from Mayor Johnson on two successful COVID-19 vaccination clinics over the previous weekend that saw about 1,000 people get their second COVID-19 vaccine doses.

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