Empty envelopes prompt city to re-send construction flier

April 13, 2010

By Warren Kagarise

The city mailed hundreds of fliers late last month to residents along Newport Way Northwest to alert them to upcoming construction. Instead, at least a handful of residents received empty envelopes.

The city sent the initial fliers — and empty envelopes — March 30. City Public Works Engineering Director Bob Brock said the city last week sent about 400 additional fliers to addresses along the corridor in order to rectify the problem.

Brock said the problem arose as staffers stuffed batches of envelopes with fliers. The team had not printed all of the fliers at once, because no extras remained after the envelopes had been mailed.

The city plans to update procedures to prevent similar problems in the future, Brock said.

Workers hand-delivered another 200 fliers to residents in the Lakemont Orchard apartment complex.

Councilman Joshua Schaer lives in the Sammamish Hills development along the affected stretch of roadway. The councilman and a handful of neighbors received empty envelopes.

Schaer and a Sammamish Hills neighbor alerted Brock and Mayor Ava Frisinger to the issue April 5.

“I’m glad it’s being re-sent quickly,” Schaer said. “I’m wondering how it happened in the first place.”

Schaer opposed the plan to redo Newport Way Northwest. Before the City Council OK’d the measure in a split decision last month, Schaer attempted to send the measure back to committee for further discussion and public input. Other council members nixed the idea.

The city will spend $120,000 to overhaul a section of the road from state Route 900 to the Interstate 90 interchange at Lakemont Boulevard. Crews will create bike lanes on both sides of the corridor and add asphalt curbs to create a barrier between the westbound bike lane and a pedestrian path. Workers will remove a double white line and a rumble strip added last year.

Construction should start within several weeks and wrap up by early summer. Expect flag crews to direct traffic during parts of the construction; work will take place between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m.

Crews widened the road section last year. The project created a 12-foot trail and a gravel shoulder on the north side of the road and a wider shoulder on the south side.

Problems arose as the project neared completion. The city received complaints about drivers using the widened shoulder as another lane — despite the double white line, the rumble strip and signs with “No driving on shoulder” warnings posted throughout the corridor.

Warren Kagarise: 392-6434, ext. 234, or wkagarise@isspress.com. Comment at www.issaquahpress.com.

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