Traffic plan may cost $300 million

December 9, 2014

Package would include 500 percent increase in impact fees

Looking to accommodate expected residential and retail growth without creating gridlock on city streets, Issaquah’s administration has come up with a $300 million transportation plan that could accommodate up to an additional 8,000 car trips on local streets per day.

But to help pay for all the needed road improvements, administration officials have proposed a 500 percent hike in the traffic impact fees developers pay.

For a single-family unit, developers currently pay $1,700, said David Hoffman, North King County manager for the Master Builders Association. If the proposed increases were adopted, that figure jumps to $8,600.

The impact fees would not cover the entire cost of the plan, which includes $250 million for roadwork and an additional $50 million for bike paths and pedestrian accommodations, city consultant Randy Young said in an interview.

Young said the city would need to fund the remainder at a cost of approximately $165 million for roadwork and roughly $26 million for bike and pedestrian pathways.

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Car strikes bear on Interstate 90

November 25, 2014

UPDATED — 6:30 p.m. Nov. 25, 2014

A car struck a bear on westbound Interstate 90 near Front Street, the Washington State Department of Transportation reported on Twitter at about 5:30 p.m Tuesday.

Traffic backed up as the right two lanes were blocked and wildlife officers came to assist. The Washington State Patrol reported on Twitter that the bear, which happened to be a cub, was alive and placed in the backseat of a trooper’s patrol car.

The Washington State Patrol later said at 6:17 p.m. that the cub did not survive its injuries.

As of 5:45 p.m. the roadway was reopened.

Car crash closes Interstate 90 for four hours

October 14, 2014

At 2:11 p.m. Oct. 9, midday commuter traffic was snarled in both directions of Interstate 90 near Preston after a multicar accident.

Washington State Patrol Two of the vehicles involved in a four-car accident Oct. 9 sit on the side of Interstate 90. The crash caused the freeway to be closed for four hours.

Washington State Patrol
Two of the vehicles involved in a four-car accident Oct. 9 sit on the side of Interstate 90. The crash caused the freeway to be closed for four hours.

Joshua M. Harris, 28, of North Bend, was traveling eastbound in a 2007 Jeep Compass and crossed the center grass median, causing a four-car chain reaction accident, according to the Washington State Patrol.

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15-day closure of eastbound Interstate 90 ramp to Bellevue Way starts tonight

September 8, 2014

NEW — 6 p.m. Sept. 8, 2014

Beginning at 9 tonight, crews will close the ramp from eastbound Interstate 90 to Bellevue Way around the clock for 15 days to lower the elevation of the ramp.

During the closure, all traffic heading eastbound on I-90 to Bellevue Way will use the HOV ramp.

Drivers should expect minor delays during the closure, particularly the first few days as drivers adjust to moving left and using the Bellevue Way HOV ramp. A detour will also be available via Richards Road and westbound I-90. The ramp is expected to reopen the morning of Sept. 23.

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Issaquah, Sammamish councils hold first joint meeting in years

July 22, 2014

Issaquah and Sammamish had the meeting equivalent of a group hug July 14.

After a year in which the two cities’ leadership have found themselves on different sides of several issues, both city councils and other city administrative staff met at Issaquah City Hall to discuss points of mutual interest. It was their first joint meeting since 2011.

“We all have one thing in common,” Issaquah Mayor Fred Butler said. “We certainly love our cities and we love representing them. We not only care about our communities, we care about the region as well.”

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Commuters, prepare for huge Interstate 90 delays

July 15, 2014

One westbound lane will close for seven days

Drivers of westbound Interstate 90 should ready themselves for significant delays due to a $1.6 million construction project that begins July 18.

Westbound I-90 will be reduced to one lane near Bellevue Way for seven days as the Washington State Department of Transportation replaces the expansion joints on the East Channel bridge, which connects Mercer Island to Bellevue over a small channel of Lake Washington.

Prepare for traffic backups June 18-25 as workers repair two 92-foot-long expansion joints that  are deteriorating on Interstate 90 near Mercer Island.

Prepare for traffic backups June 18-25 as workers repair two 92-foot-long expansion joints that are deteriorating on Interstate 90 near Mercer Island.

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Expect minor delays for Interstate 90 repairs between Issaquah and North Bend

July 7, 2014

NEW — 7 p.m. July 7, 2014

Drivers who use Interstate 90 between Issaquah and North Bend should plan extra time for their trips this week.

Maintenance crews from the Washington State Department of Transportation will close up to two lanes of I-90 to replace 13 damaged and cracked concrete panels.

To ensure materials are available, much of the work must be done during the day, with a single lane remaining closed overnight to allow the concrete to properly cure.

Closure details:

  • July 8 to the morning of July 9 — Two lanes of westbound I-90 will be closed before East Sunset Way from 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. A single lane will remain closed until 4 a.m.
  • July 9 to the morning of July 10 — Two lanes of eastbound I-90 will be closed before state Route 202/Bendigo Boulevard South from 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. A single lane will remain closed until 4 a.m.
  • July 10 to the morning of July 11 — Two lanes of westbound I-90 will be closed before East Sunset Way from 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. A single lane will remain closed until 4 a.m.

Issaquah pushes for Legislature movement on transportation

January 14, 2014

Transportation will continue to top Issaquah’s wish list for this year’s legislative session.

At a casual breakfast meeting Jan. 6, city leaders met with local representatives and Issaquah’s lobbyist Doug Levy to discuss the regular session, which began Jan. 13. Fifth District Republican Reps. Jay Rodne and Chad Magendanz joined Democratic Sen. Mark Mullet in talking about the city’s interests in possible legislation.

“As you travel around the region, I imagine that every jurisdiction names transportation as the No. 1 concern, and Issaquah is no different,” new Mayor Fred Butler said. “Last year was a tough legislative session around a transportation package, because there wasn’t one.”

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Traffic talks jam town hall

October 1, 2013

Traffic talks are in a jam.

To address ongoing transportation problems and lobby for a Legislature special session this fall, local and regional representatives met for a town hall Sept. 26. An overflowing crowd came to Issaquah City Hall to voice concerns about traffic and hear possible solutions.

Washington State Department of Transportation Regional Administrator Lorena Eng joined Sen. Mark Mullet, Rep. Jay Rodne, Rep. Chad Magendanz, King County Councilwoman Kathy Lambert, Issaquah City Council President Fred Butler, former Bothell City Councilman Dick Paylor and North Bend Mayor Kenneth Hearing to have a discussion in an attempt to resurrect the failed Legislature funding package and hear citizen opinions.

By Peter Clark More than 70 people packed into City Hall’s Eagle Room Sept. 26 to ask questions of regional leaders on the state of transportation.

By Peter Clark
More than 70 people packed into City Hall’s Eagle Room Sept. 26 to ask questions of regional leaders on the state of transportation.

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Public can comment on I-90 tolling proposal

October 1, 2013

The state Department of Transportation will conduct an additional comment period from Oct. 7 to Nov. 6 to gather input on the proposal to toll Interstate 90 and the range of alternatives.

The agency will hold three public meetings during the comment period.

The first meeting is from 4-7 p.m. Oct. 10 at Bellevue College, 3000 Landerholm Circle S.E.

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