In Enumclaw, road crews are busy helping navigate traffic on Cole St. and Warner Ave. Photo by Ray Miller-Still

In Enumclaw, road crews are busy helping navigate traffic on Cole St. and Warner Ave. Photo by Ray Miller-Still

Road improvement projects under way in Enumclaw, Buckley

A silver lining on the pandemic is that roads are clear to start construction projects faster than originally planned.

Many businesses remain shuttered and social interaction is limited, but the sounds of road construction echo through Enumclaw and Buckley.

It’s a busy time in both communities, with major projects in various stages of completion, and residents can plan for more. Some projects are scheduled to last into the summer months.

In Enumclaw, a highly-visible project is in the works on Cole Street. The effort will see upgrades between Stevenson and Roosevelt avenues.

Crews are present daily, working on curb and sidewalk improvements and, eventually, work will turn to an entire overlay of the busy corridor.

City Administrator Chris Searcy said work has started earlier than expected due to the COVID-19 crisis. Originally, work on Cole Street was planned for after the Fourth of July holiday and the community’s annual parade. With holiday events cancelled, crews were able to get an early start.

Packaged with the Cole Street project was a call for improvements to Warner Avenue between Semanski Street and state Route 410. That, too, will get an early start; initial plans had the work waiting until the end of the school year, since the project extends to the Enumclaw High School campus.

Another Enumclaw project in the early stages is the two-part extension to the local trail system.

The popular Foothills Trail includes a stretch of city sidewalks that continue through town to Battersby Avenue. Now, the city is extending that trail from Battersby to the northern city limits; heading east, the city is providing a paved trail to Farman Road.

Funding for the twin trails has an interesting and lengthy history. The money was originally granted by the federal government for a welcome center planned by the city; that project dragged on and, eventually, was scrapped. The city lobbied the government and was successful in its effort to have the dollars diverted for trails.

The city had figured the 1.4 miles of paved trail would cost nearly $950,000. However, the project was initially handed to Olson Brother Excavation, which submitted a bid of $728,000.

Signs of early work, including a staging area at Ellenson Park, are now visible. The contract calls for the project to be completed in 90 working days.

BUSY IN BUCKLEY

This will be one of the busiest summers in recent Buckley history when it comes to infrastructure work, according to City Administrator Paul Weed.

A total overhaul of Cedar Street is already under way, as is a Naches Street project. And the city’s long-anticipated 2020 Comprehensive Utilities Project launched last week.

Cedar Street is the most noticeable, with its downtown presence and detour signs along Main Street. Extending south from downtown, the road will not get a simple overlay; rather, it’s due for reconstruction along with curbs and sidewalks. Below ground, water mains and other utilities will be upgraded.

The Naches Street project calls for an overlay of 1,400 linear$2.15 million feet from Park to Mason Avenue.

The 2020 utilities project is something the city has been planning for, Weed said, adding that the plan will improve water mains and sewer lines, along with road surfaces. It’s a three-month effort with a price tag of $2.15 million. The city has been saving money for the wide-ranging project, which is fully funded by local dollars.

The Cedar and Naches projects are boosted by grants from the state’s Transportation Improvement Board. The Cedar Street improvements carry a total cost of more than $1.4 million; the TIB grant pays $384,000 of that sum.


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Across the river, the Cedar Street project in Buckley is well underway. Photo by Kevin Hanson

Across the river, the Cedar Street project in Buckley is well underway. Photo by Kevin Hanson

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