Construction starts on Darst Park pedestrian path

June 14, 2011

Crews are scheduled to start building a pedestrian path through Emily Darst Park soon.

The city awarded a contract to Sammamish-based WB Contracting for the project, part of the mitigation for the Interstate 90 Undercrossing project. Plans called for crews to upgrade the park to replace wetlands destroyed during construction of the undercrossing and a pedestrian connector at the interstate and state Route 900.

The path should be completed by June 30. Planners issued a notice for the contractor to proceed May 19.

The park encompasses 12 acres on the east bank of Issaquah Creek, south of Pickering Barn and north of the interstate. The regional East Lake Sammamish Regional Trail follows the park’s eastern boundary and the Pickering Trail traverses the property.

Undercrossing opens to link north and south Issaquah

December 21, 2010

Crews completed the Interstate 90 Undercrossing last week and opened the north-south connector to traffic Dec. 16. By Greg Farrar

The link between north and south Issaquah opened to traffic Dec. 16, after years of planning and months of construction.

The long-planned Interstate 90 Undercrossing — Fourth Avenue Northwest — runs from a traffic signal at the post office along Northwest Gilman Boulevard, connects into the rail corridor behind Gilman Station, forms a T-shaped intersection at Southeast 62nd Street, continues along 221st Place Southeast and then terminates at Southeast 56th Street.

Crews experienced a last-minute delay last month, after the installation of bridge safety railings lasted longer than expected. The city planned to open the connector around Dec. 6, but the slowdown prompted planners to update the schedule.

The link supplements traffic-clogged Front Street North and state Route 900, the other connectors between north and south Issaquah. Both older crossings also provide access to the interstate, but the combination of local traffic and vehicles from the on- and off-ramps add to the gridlock.

Because part of the undercrossing is located within the King County East Lake Sammamish Trail Corridor, the link also serves as a multimodal facility.

Pickering Trail also crosses Fourth Avenue Northwest at a signalized crossing, and then connects to the East Lake Sammamish Trail.

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City Council delays undercrossing proposal

June 15, 2010

Completing a piece of the Interstate 90 Undercrossing hinges on a pact headed to the City Council next week.

The city needs to secure right of way along 221st Place Southeast in order to complete paving and install a traffic signal where the road meets Southeast 62nd Street.

Staffers proposed a development agreement between the city and landowners Doug and Linda Ebi to acquire the right of way. The council held a public hearing on the proposed agreement June 7, but after residents and council members raised questions about the deal, sent the proposal to the city River & Streams Board and the Council Land & Shore Committee for additional scrutiny.

The measure will return to the full council for another hearing June 21.

The undercrossing should be completed in November. The phase attached to the Ebi property includes paving three lanes — but not installing curbs, gutters or sidewalks — from 221st Place Southeast to East Lake Sammamish Parkway.

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Grants, volunteers help city maintain trails, open space

April 6, 2010

Invasive blackberry, holly, Japanese knotweed and Scotch broom proved to be no match for the hundreds of people who volunteered to maintain city-owned open space and trails last year.

Volunteers focused last year on maintenance in the open spaces and parks cleared in 2008. Teams cleared 12 to 15 acres of the invasive plants from the Park Hill Open Space in the Overdale Park neighborhood, Timberlake Park along Lake Sammamish and other sites in 2008, and kept the unwanted plants off the site in 2009.

Volunteers returned to the sites last year to plant native shrubs and trees where invasive plants used to grow, city Open Space Steward Matt Mechler said in a presentation to City Council members late last month. The work will continue in the months ahead, he added.

Mechler detailed efforts to preserve open space and maintain city trails in a March 23 report to the Committee-of-the-Whole Council. The city owns about 1,300 acres of open space.

“We worked on getting those invasives under control and then just maintaining them last year, with the hopes that once the invasives are under control then we’ll be doing some native planting at these sites,” Mechler said.

Besides invasive plant removal, the city worked with conservation groups last year to maintain the network of trails crisscrossing Issaquah.

Issaquah Alps Trails Club volunteers helped complete a quarter-mile section of the Talus Bridge Trail to connect the urban village with the Bear Ridge Trail on Cougar Mountain. Read more

Grants, volunteers help city maintain trails, open space

April 5, 2010

NEW — 6 a.m. April 5, 2010

Invasive blackberry, holly, Japanese knotweed and Scotch broom proved to be no match for the hundreds of people who volunteered to maintain city-owned open space and trails last year.

Volunteers focused last year on maintenance in the open spaces and parks cleared in 2008. Teams cleared 12 to 15 acres of the invasive plants from the Park Hill Open Space in the Overdale Park neighborhood, Timberlake Park along Lake Sammamish and other sites in 2008, and kept the unwanted plants off the site in 2009.

Read more

City seeks bids for I-90 Undercrossing

February 2, 2010

The city is accepting construction bids for the Interstate 90 Undercrossing, a long-planned connector from Northwest Gilman Boulevard to Southeast 56th Street. Read more

City seeks contractor for long-planned I-90 Undercrossing

January 27, 2010

NEW — 6 a.m. Jan. 27, 2010

Officials seek construction bids for the Interstate 90 Undercrossing, a long-planned connector from Northwest Gilman Boulevard to Southeast 56th Street.

City Public Works Engineering Director Bob Brock put the project out to contractors for bid after the City Council cleared a final pre-development hurdle last week.

After the city receives bids, Brock expects staffers will select a finalist within the next few weeks. He hopes for the City Council to award the contract in March. The sluggish economy could make for bids at lower amounts than officials expect.

Officials budgeted about $3 million for undercrossing work in 2010. The overall cost of the endeavor included in the Capital Improvement Plan — a sweeping guide to all types of city projects — is $13 million.

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Safety questions surface about I-90 trails link

November 24, 2009

trail-grant-i90-plans-20091A plan to add a bridge over Interstate 90 for bicyclists and pedestrians — a project with a nearly $6 million price tag — drew criticism from City Council members last week.

The project would complete a trail about 1,200 feet long, between the end of the state Route 900 boardwalk at the eastbound I-90 off-ramp on the south side of the interstate, and the Sammamish Trail on the north. But critics said overpasses at other locations would better serve pedestrians, and council members raised safety concerns about the project.

The project would complete a missing link and provide a way for bicyclists and pedestrians to traverse the interstate. The connector would also provide a link for bicyclists and pedestrians to the Issaquah Transit Center, about a half-mile south of the interstate.

The key pieces of the connector would include a separate 12-foot-wide pedestrian bridge crossing the westbound I-90 on-ramps and modifications to the existing state Route 900 overpass to install a 10-foot-wide pedestrian crossing. The northern terminus of the project would be Northwest Sammamish Road, while the southern terminus would be the I-90 eastbound off ramp, where the trail would connect with the boardwalk.

Next up: Council Transportation Committee members will discuss a proposal Dec. 3 to accept $400,000 from Sound Transit toward the project. The full council could consider the agreement Dec. 21. Read more

City will create wetland to mitigate undercrossing construction

November 10, 2009

Crews will build a manmade wetland in Emily Darst Park next year to replace wetlands destroyed when teams break ground on the Interstate 90 Undercrossing and a pedestrian overpass on state Route 900. Read more

Council approves key I-90 Undercrossing pact

August 25, 2009

After business leaders and residents voiced support for the Interstate 90 Undercrossing, the City Council set aside environmental concerns and voted Aug. 17 to approve a pact crucial to the development of the roadway. Read more

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