Correction: A previous version of this article, and the print article, incorrectly reported that the money designated for the Porter Street pedestrian improvements, planned for 2024, were for construction. The money is actually for designing the project. This article has been updated, and a correction will be posted in the May 11 edition.
Hundreds of thousands of dollars are spent every year to help Enumclaw residents improve how they get around town, and last week’s city council meeting was an opportunity to check out what projects are expected to be tackled in the next few years.
The project list, known as a Transportation Improvement Program (TIP), is a annual document required by the state that lays out six years-worth of street upgrade and maintenance plans inside city limits. Without the list, the city would be ineligible for state and federal transportation improvement grants, leaving local taxpayers on the hook to fund these projects.
The Enumclaw City Council hosted a public hearing on their six-year TIP during its April 25 meeting — no one spoke, so the the council passed the plan that night.
Although the council approves a plan every year, this does not set these projects in stone, and adjustments are not only common, but expected.
Still, it gives locals a good idea of where Enumclaw plans to spend local, state, and federal dollars on minor and major street projects around the city.
UPCOMING 2022 PROJECTS
The year is still young, and the city wants to tackle four significant projects by the end of 2022, several of which may come to affect local traffic.
One of those, which is already underway, is a Myrtle Avenue pavement preservation project, which includes a complete replacement of the pavement from Cole Street to Wells Street.
“Although we could have replaced selected concrete panels that were extensively cracked, the project was championed by former council member Hoke Overland who believed that rebuilding the entire street would complement downtown events at the tent, Sundays on Cole and the weekend street closures,” City Administrator Chris Search said in an email interview.
Tearing up the street also allows for ADA improvements to be made to the Myrtle Avenue and Wells Street intersection, which include curb ramps on each corner.
The $350,000 project started March 7 and is expected to wrap up at the end of May.
Another project that may affect downtown parking includes some resurfacing, spot repairs (especially to root-heaved sections), and lighting installations to the parking lots behind the Chamber of Commerce building and next to Rotary Park.
The work is expected to begin Aug. 1 and be completed by mid-September. Total project costs will come in around $230,000.
“Downtown parking will be impacted during construction, but selecting August appeared to have the least impact on special events,” Searcy said.
The third is rehabilitating — or repairing — Warner Avenue from state Route 410 to Berninger Street, about a mile of road.
The final major project is grinding and overlaying Third Street, from Stevenson to Griffin Avenue.
Both projects, with a combined cost of more than $661,000, will start mid-June and be wrapped up by the end of July.
2023 AND BEYOND
More than $4 million could be spent on street repair and improvement projects between 20243 and 2028, according to the six-year TIP list.
One of the most expensive and visible improvements on this list includes the installation of a roundabout to the 224th Ave. SE and Roosevelt Ave. intersection; it will be similar to the recently-constructed Warner Ave./Semanski St. roundabout, but with a larger diameter to accomodate truck and trailer traffic.
The $850,000 project is fully funded by the city, and is expected to be one of the first projects tackled in 2023.
The city is also looking to design some pedestrian improvements for Porter Street/state Route 169 in 2024, which includes adding a sidewalk and widening the pavement, plus curb, gutter, and piped storm drainage improvements.
Designing the project is expected to happen in 2024.
“The construction cost of this project is not known at this time, other than it will be very expensive, certainly into seven figures,” Searcy said. “We would need to successfully obtain state or federal grant dollars to complete the construction phase.”
A year later, the city hopes to work on Roosevelt Ave. from Semanski Street to Cole Street. This project includes pavement resurfacing and upgrading curb ramps for ADA standards, is expected to cost $400,000; the project could affect local traffic south of downtown.
“Design has not started on this and traffic impacts are unknown at this time,” Searcy said.
The state is once again ponying up most of the funds ($320,000).
In 2026, the city looks to work on the other side of Semanski by filling in the sidewalk gaps on the north side of the road, from the Roosevelt Avenue and Semanski Street intersection to 244th Avenue SE. The $100,000 project is again mostly funded ($85,000) by the state.
Those who utilize the state Route 164/Griffin Avenue and Roosevelt Avenue intersection — which, presumably, is everyone at one time or another — could find improvements being made to it in 2027.
“At a minimum each pedestrian crossing would be upgraded with ADA compliant curb ramps,” Searcy said. “The remaining improvements are a bit more fluid and will be further refined during the design phase and coordination with WSDOT. It could include signal modifications to allow for two westbound through lanes and/or an additional approach lane on eastbound Griffin to reduce queue lengths during peak periods.”
The project is expected to cost $100,000, and will be totally funded by the city unless a grant can be found.
WSDOT PAVEMENT PROJECTS
It appears the Washington state Department of Transportation may tackle paving projects to state Routes 410, 169, and 164 in 2027 and 2028.
However, “In 2015, our TIP indicated SR 169 paving would be completed in 2021, which it wasn’t, so clearly they have deferred this work for many, many years,” Searcy said. “The current projection of 2028 is uncertain.”
Because these are WSDOT projects, no local money will be spent.