Undercrossing opens to link north and south Issaquah

December 16, 2010

NEW — 3 p.m. Dec. 16, 2010

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

Interstate 90 Undercrossing

The long-planned Interstate 90 Undercrossing — or 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.

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Undercrossing opening date changed to December

November 23, 2010

Interstate 90 Undercrossing

The long-planned Interstate 90 Undercrossing — a road link between north and south Issaquah — is due to open in December, about a month later than planners had estimated.

The delay came when the installation of bridge safety railings lasted longer than expected.

City Public Works Engineering Director Bob Brock said the entire connector could open by the week of Dec. 6 if no construction problems arise. The city planned open Southeast 62nd Street and 221st Place Southeast — streets closed during construction — Nov. 24. Read more

New May Creek Bridge opens to vehicles

August 31, 2010

May Creek Bridge near the intersection of Southeast May Valley Road and state Route 900 has reopened to traffic after a summerlong closure.

King County crews built a $1.7 million May Creek Bridge to replace a timber-supported span across the north fork of May Creek. The larger, safer bridge opened Aug. 27 — ahead of the Aug. 31 completion deadline.

Teams from Kirkland-based MidMountain Contractors dismantled the aging bridge and built a modern replacement designed to include wider lanes and shoulders, and bear heavier loads.

The old bridge closed June 21. The timing coincided with summer break in the Issaquah School District. Students returned to school Aug. 31.

Linda Thielke, Road Services Division spokeswoman, said the county received few comments from drivers during the shutdown and construction — aside from the usual questions about why the bridge had to remain closed for several weeks.

King County Road Services Division planners picked a full shutdown because the option allowed for the fastest construction of the replacement.

The old bridge constricted traffic at the nearby intersection of state Route 900 and Southeast May Valley Road.

Planners started outreach for the project years ago. The county hosted open houses and, before the June shutdown, sent 8,000 mailers with construction information to nearby residents.

May Creek Bridge near Issaquah reopens to traffic

August 27, 2010

UPDATED — 1:40 p.m. Aug. 27, 2010

May Creek Bridge near the intersection of Southeast May Valley Road and state Route 900 has reopened to traffic after a summerlong closure.

King County crews built a $1.7 million May Creek Bridge to replace a timber-supported span across the north fork of May Creek.

Teams from MidMountain Contractors dismantled the aging bridge and built a modern replacement designed to include wider lanes and shoulders, and bear heavier loads.

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I-90 Undercrossing expected to be completed by early fall

July 27, 2010

Workers with their earth-moving equipment continue to labor July 26 on the roadway bed for the Interstate 90 Undercrossing, which will be named Fourth Avenue Northwest. By Greg Farrar

City Council members paved the way last week for completion of the Interstate 90 Undercrossing, a north-south link meant to cut traffic on existing Issaquah roads.

The council adjusted the construction contract between the city and the main undercrossing builder to finish the section along Southeast 62nd Street and 221st Place Southeast.

The council agreed to spend $530,935 in order for Kirkland-based MidMountain Contractors to complete the last phase. The change brings the undercrossing cost to about $3 million.

Before the July 19 decision, Councilman Joshua Schaer commended city staffers for expediting completion of the undercrossing puzzle.

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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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May Creek Bridge closes from June 21 until August

June 15, 2010

The bridge near the intersection of Southeast May Valley Road and state Route 900 will close June 21 and remain closed for most of the summer, as workers dismantle the aging structure and build a replacement bridge.

King County plans a modern May Creek Bridge to replace the timber-supported, 60-year-old span across the north fork of May Creek. Crews posted signs near the bridge last week to alert drivers to the shutdown and construction. Detour signs will be posted for the duration of the closure.

The replacement bridge will be longer, with wider lanes and shoulders. Moreover, the $1.7 million project has been designed to bear heavier loads.

The narrow roadway on the existing bridge constricts traffic at the nearby intersection of state Route 900 and Southeast May Valley Road.

King County Road Services Division planners started readying for the project several years ago. The agency contacted the state Department of Transportation, emergency-service providers and the Issaquah School District to prepare.

Sara Niegowski, district spokeswoman, said the timing dovetails with summer break. The school year ends June 17 and starts Aug. 31.

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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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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.

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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