City Council puts concerns aside to approve undercrossing pact

June 23, 2010

NEW — 10 a.m. June 23, 2010

Despite some grumbling from members, the City Council approved a pact Monday to help complete the Interstate 90 Undercrossing.

The city needed to secure right of way along 221st Place Southeast in order to complete paving and install a traffic signal where the road will meet Southeast 62nd Street. The council approved a development agreement with property owners Doug and Linda Ebi for the right of way.

The council initially discussed the agreement June 7, but sent the proposal to the Council Land & Shore Committee and the city River & Streams Board for additional scrutiny after residents and council members raised environmental concerns about the pact.

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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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Undercrossing construction hindered by wet weather

June 8, 2010

Rain has slowed construction on the Interstate 90 Undercrossing and, because soil at the site is sensitive to moisture, crews must take care to manage storm water runoff and prevent soil erosion.

During Memorial Day weekend, the city monitored storm water runoff from the site. The results showed low levels of turbidity, or murkiness from soil and other particles — well below the threshold required for corrective action by city code. Runoff turbidity levels remained low last week.

Construction workers broke ground on the undercrossing in early May. Initial plans called for the road link to be completed by early fall.

Crews will build a two-lane roadway from the traffic signal at the post office along Northwest Gilman Boulevard and link the road to the rail corridor behind Gilman Station. The road will form a T-shaped intersection at Southeast 62nd Street, continue along 221st Place Southeast and end at Southeast 56th Street, across from the East Lake Center retail complex.

Wet weather hinders undercrossing construction

June 3, 2010

NEW — 3 p.m. June 3, 2010

Rain has slowed construction on the Interstate 90 Undercrossing and, because soil at the site is sensitive to moisture, crews must take care to manage storm water runoff and prevent soil erosion.

During Memorial Day weekend, the city monitored storm water runoff from the site. The results showed low levels of turbidity, or murkiness from soil and other particles — well below the threshold required for corrective action by city code. Runoff turbidity levels remained low this week.

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Construction begins on I-90 Undercrossing

May 11, 2010

Backhoes clear ground May 7 for the new Interstate 90 Undercrossing in the 400 block of Northwest Gilman Boulevard as a postal carrier next door departs the Issaquah Post Office to deliver mail. By Greg Farrar

Construction started last week on the long-planned Interstate 90 Undercrossing, a road link meant to alleviate traffic congestion along Front Street North, Northwest Gilman Boulevard and other well-traveled Issaquah streets.

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City Council OKs long-term road projects

May 8, 2010

NEW — 6 a.m. May 8, 2010

City Council members approved the bible to all city transportation projects through 2016 — a roadmap to planned street and trails improvements known as the Transportation Improvement Program.

The list includes the Interstate 90 Undercrossing, a pedestrian connector to link trails across the interstate and along state Route 900, improvements to Newport Way Northwest and dozens of other projects.

The council held a hearing on the plan Monday, and then OK’d the list in a unanimous decision. Transportation projects must be listed in the plan in order to eligible for federal and state dollars, including money generated through the state gasoline tax and distributed to local governments.

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Construction starts on I-90 Undercrossing

May 5, 2010

NEW — 3:10 p.m. May 5, 2010

Construction started Monday on the long-planned Interstate 90 Undercrossing, a road link meant to alleviate traffic congestion on Front Street North and state Route 900.

Expect lane restrictions along Northwest Gilman Boulevard from 8 p.m. until 6 a.m. May 10-14 as crews conduct utility work.

The undercrossing will link Northwest Gilman Boulevard to Southeast 56th Street via a two-lane roadway built from the traffic signal at the post office.

In March, the City Council awarded a $1.46 million contract to a Kirkland company, MidMountain Contractors, to build the connector and a 12-inch water line. The project includes curb and gutter work, installation of sidewalks and traffic signals, and landscaping.

The city counts on the undercrossing to remove about 2,000 to 4,000 vehicles from Northwest Gilman Boulevard and 3,000 to 6,000 from Front Street North each day. Gilman Boulevard handles 29,000 vehicles per day; Front Street handles 49,000.

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.

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Bid awarded, construction to begin on I-90 undercrossing

March 23, 2010

Construction should start by late April on the long-planned Interstate 90 Undercrossing, a north-south connector meant to alleviate traffic on Front Street and state Route 900.

City Public Works Engineering Director Bob Brock said work should last about five months. The roadway should open to vehicles by the end of the year.

City Council members awarded a $1.46 million construction contract last week to complete the roadway. The council passed the measure in a unanimous vote without discussion. The particulars associated with undercrossing construction had been addressed in earlier meetings, including meetings late last year where officials discussed trees and wetlands damaged by construction.

A man walks on the East Lake Sammamish Trail at the Interstate 90 overpass, where the long-planned Interstate 90 north-south undercrossing connector will be. By Greg Farrar

The undercrossing will connect Northwest Gilman Boulevard to Southeast 56th Street via a two-lane roadway built from the traffic signal at the post office.

The city counts on the undercrossing to remove about 2,000 to 4,000 cars from Northwest Gilman Boulevard and 3,000 to 6,000 cars from Front Street North each day. Gilman Boulevard handles 29,000 cars per day; Front Street handles 49,000, city figures show. Read more

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