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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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

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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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

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

City Council divided over land sale

February 9, 2009

zetec-map-city-plan-2006020

After City Council members’ votes ended in a tie, Mayor Ava Frisinger used her vote to approve a motion authorizing city officials to enter into negotiations to sell part of the Zetec property.

The Zetec property, at 6401 224th Ave. S.E., is behind the city’s post office but on the other side of Interstate 90. City officials purchased it from Clyde Denton for about $2 million in 2005, said Bob Brock, city Public Works director.

The property was purchased by the city to secure the right of way to complete a new bridge as part of the I-90 Undercrossing project.

However, after securing what they need for the right of way, city officials are beginning negotiations to sell the remaining building and property for redevelopment.

“This has been a high priority for us and I believe authorizing the purchase and sale agreement for this moves us closer to achieving a number of important Issaquah priorities,” Councilman Fred Butler said.

Butler and council members Eileen Barber and Joshua Schaer voted to approve the motion, while John Rittenhouse, Maureen McCarry and David Kappler voted it down. Councilman John Traeger was absent from a Feb. 2 executive session.

“Certainly, after our discussion, I understand the rationale behind the decision either way. But personally, I don’t feel I can support it, because I don’t feel there is enough benefit to outweigh the conditions of the sale agreement,” Rittenhouse said after the closed-door session.

The mayor’s vote approved negotiations.

Reach Reporter Chantelle Lusebrink at 392-434, ext. 241, or clusebrink@isspress.com. Comment on this story at www.issaquahpress.com.