The coming year will be a busy one in Enumclaw, with major road projects planned throughout town. As is usually the case, those living or doing business nears work zone will experience some type of interruption.
First on the schedule is an entirely new surface for Railroad Avenue, beginning at Myrtle Avenue and stretching north to Battersby. Work will likely start this month, according to City Administrator Chris Searcy and, by contract, has to be finished by mid-May.
While new pavement will make a smoother ride for motorists, the project includes a link to Enumclaw’s past. Under the road is the old, wooden Tacoma Water supply line; it is an original piece of the transmission line that diverts water from Howard Hansen Dam for use by the city of Tacoma. The city inherited the pipe when Tacoma installed the modern line.
The wooden pipe has crumbled and is crushed in areas, and will be backfilled as part of the Railroad Avenue project.
The Railroad Street improvements will include the busy Myrtle Avenue area, home to numerous businesses, and runs adjacent to the Enumclaw library parking lot.
On the schedule for summer work is an overlay of Cole Street at the south end of downtown. The project will upgrade Cole between Stevenson and Roosevelt avenues.
Also slated for the summer construction season is an overlay of Warner Avenue between Semanski Street and state Route 410. The city had hoped to continue the Warner project east of the highway but did not receive state funding for both phases.
And, speaking of Warner and Semanski, that busy intersection will be home to the most interesting project of all. Following the recommendation of a traffic study, the current configuration – stop signs on Warner with motorists unimpeded on Semanski – will be scrapped.
In its place, workers will build a roundabout that slows traffic but aims to keep everyone moving.
That intersection is one of the city’s busiest, at least twice a day, as Enumclaw High School occupies the southwest corner. Moving through the area are vehicles driven by parents, students and teachers, competing with school buses and students on foot.
Searcy said the current roundabout design will not require any purchases of adjoining land.
TRAIL CONSTRUCTION ON THE WAY
Pavement also is headed Enumclaw’s way on the north side of town, but not intended for automobile use.
An extension of the Foothills Trail will run from Battersby Avenue to the northern city limits. A separate, but nearby, trail will run along the north side of Battersby to Ellenson Park at 284th Avenue.