Press Editorial

August 17, 2010

Look beyond Issaquah for traffic solutions

Issaquah has waited a long time for definitive transportation improvements. At last, a few are coming.

In the past decade, Issaquah got an Intelligent Transportation System that allowed traffic lights to be synchronized and reader boards to advise drivers of traffic revisions. Two years ago, the great debate over whether to build a southeast connector road from Interstate 90’s Exit 18 at East Sunset Way to Issaquah-Hobart Road Southeast was decided.

This summer, two big changes born of that decision will provide real improvements.

Sunset Way at Second Avenue will be widened to allow for a turn lane. Second Avenue Southeast will also get a right-hand turn lane onto Sunset. The changes should significantly improve traffic flow through the intersection, especially in the afternoon, when schools release students for the day. Read more

East Sunset Way construction starts

June 10, 2010

NEW — 6 a.m. June 10, 2010

Construction has started to widen the East Sunset Way approach to Interstate 90.

State Department of Transportation crews will widen the street from Sixth Avenue Northeast to the interstate — about 1,000 feet of road.

Plans call for a wider roadway and a sidewalk to be added. Crews will also remove concrete barriers alongside the narrow lanes. The temporary support wall for the roadway will be replaced with a permanent support.

The project could cause dozens of lane closures. Though the DOT has permission to work after hours, crews must provide notice to the city and take steps to reduce noise. Lane closures should be limited to single lanes during off-peak hours. Pedestrian access near the interchange will remain available during construction.

Read more

Work starts on East Sunset Way interchange next month

May 25, 2010

State Department of Transportation officials last month awarded a $1.3 million contract to a Bellevue contractor to widen and upgrade the cramped East Sunset Way approach to Interstate 90.

Construction on the project should start next month and wrap by fall. Crews will widen the narrow roadway from a single lane in each direction and remove concrete barriers alongside the lanes. The temporary support wall near the roadway will be replaced. Workers will also reconfigure storm water retention ponds down the hill from the roadway.

DOT officials picked Tri-State Construction to complete the long-planned project. The department budgeted $3.5 million for the project, but bids arrived far below estimates.

Most of the work will take place off of the roadway, but the project could require up to 60 nighttime lane closures.

Crews completed most of the interchange in 2003, but left the East Sunset Way stretch undone in order to connect to the planned Southeast Bypass. City Council members canceled the proposed 1.1-mile roadway across Tiger Mountain in 2008, after 12 years of planning and $4 million.

Work starts on East Sunset Way interchange next month

May 17, 2010

NEW — 6 a.m. May 17, 2010

State Department of Transportation officials last month awarded a $1.3 million contract to a Bellevue contractor to widen and upgrade the cramped East Sunset Way approach to Interstate 90.

Construction on the project should start next month and wrap by the fall. Crews will widen the narrow roadway from a single lane in each direction and remove concrete barriers alongside the lanes.

Read more

DOT will open East Sunset Way construction bids

April 6, 2010

State Department of Transportation officials will open construction bids for the East Sunset Way interchange April 7.

Workers will widen the narrow, curved roadway from a single lane in each direction bracketed by concrete barriers to wider lanes bracketed by road shoulders, curbs and a sidewalk. Crews will also replace a temporary support wall with a permanent support for the widened roadway. The project will also require workers to reconfigure storm water retention ponds adjacent to the site.

Officials plan to start construction on the estimated $3.5 million project next month. Work should last about six months. Although most work will take place off the roadway, the project will require up to 60 nighttime closures, when a single lane will remain open and flag crews will direct traffic.

The state started advertising the project to contractors March 8.

Crews completed most of the interchange in 2003. Workers left the East Sunset Way piece unfinished in order to link the junction to the planned Southeast Bypass.

City Council members canceled the proposed 1.1-mile roadway across Tiger Mountain in 2008, after 12 years of planning and $4 million.

The interchange work completed in 2003 — billed by the DOT as a $117 million congestion-relief project — created additional access to Issaquah and the Sammamish Plateau.

DOT will open East Sunset Way bids

April 3, 2010

NEW — 6 a.m. April 3, 2010

State Department of Transportation officials will open construction bids for the East Sunset Way interchange April 7.

Workers will widen the narrow, curved roadway from a single lane in each direction lined by concrete barriers to wider lanes bracketed by road shoulders, curbs and a sidewalk. Crews will also replace a temporary support wall with a permanent support for the widened roadway.

The project will also require workers to reconfigure storm water retention ponds adjacent to the site.

Read more

Federal funds keep East Sunset Way project on schedule

March 9, 2010

The state secretary of transportation urged Congress last week to approve dollars needed to widen the East Sunset Way approach to Interstate 90. Read more

East Sunset Way upgrade could be delayed as federal highway funding hits snag

March 2, 2010

NEW — 11:30 a.m. March 2, 2010

The state secretary of transportation urged Congress on Monday to approve dollars needed to widen the East Sunset Way approach to Interstate 90.

A key federal transportation-funding act expired midnight Feb. 28. Reimbursements from the Highway Trust Fund have been suspended while lawmakers work out a deal to extend the act.

The state stands to lose money already spent on projects backed by the federal government. State officials usually hire contractors to complete projects, and then contractors submit invoices to the state when the work is completed. The state pays the bills, and officials submit invoices to the federal government to be reimbursed for money already sent to contractors.

Delays would force Washington and other states to keep cash on hand to pay contractors.

Read more

Take a closer look at Issaquah’s public art

February 23, 2010

Public art is a big part of Issaquah today. In fact, there’s an entire city policy dedicated to it.

While it may be an addition to the city’s beauty — depending on your tastes — you may have driven by more than one of the pieces and wondered, “What is that?”  Well, here are some answers to some pieces you may have wondered about.

Have others that we didn’t list? Send them to editor@isspress.com.

Read more

Sunset Way interchange completion to begin construction in late spring

January 12, 2010

The narrow, temporary East Sunset Way approach to Interstate 90 will be completed this year with wider lanes, road shoulders, curbs and a sidewalk. By Greg Farrar

The narrow, temporary East Sunset Way approach to Interstate 90 will be completed this year with wider lanes, road shoulders, curbs and a sidewalk. By Greg Farrar

Expect construction noise and lane closures when state crews begin work to widen the East Sunset Way approach to Interstate 90 in late spring.

State Department of Transportation plans call for construction on the $3.5 million project to start in May and last about six months. Although most work will take place off the roadway, the project will require up to 60 nighttime closures, when a single lane will remain open and flag crews will direct traffic.

Workers will widen the narrow, curved roadway from a single lane in each direction hemmed by concrete barriers to wider lanes bracketed by road shoulders, curbs and a sidewalk.

“When you have two buses or two trucks try to go through here at the same time, it’s impossible. One of them has to wait,” Project Engineer Hung Huynh said.

Crews will also replace a temporary support wall with a permanent support for the widened roadway. The project will also require workers to reconfigure storm water retention ponds adjacent to the site.

Huynh said the DOT plans to advertise the project to contractors next month. Officials tapped into state gas tax revenue to pay for the project. Read more

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