May 11, 1998

Local News

Sims unveils county's road work plan

  by Woodinville Weekly staff



   Road work season, that time of year when orange-vested, stop-sign wielding matadors and beeping backhoes take over the public right-of-ways, is about to begin in unincorporated King County. Last week, King County Executive Ron Sims unveiled his $94 million 1998 road construction program. The county says many projects scheduled for construction this year will provide much needed capacity for fast growing areas in unincorporated King County.
   Local projects include:
   * Widening a section of Northeast 124th Street, south of Woodinville from 132nd Pl. N.E. to State Route 202 to five lanes to improve safety and traffic flow. The Sammamish River Bridge will also be strengthened to better withstand earthquakes;
  
   * Replacing the Carnation Farm Road Bridge over a side channel of the Snoqualmie River just west of State Route 203 with a new single-span bridge. The current bridge has suffered extensive damage from flooding;
  
   * Working on a new Raging River Bridge on Preston-Fall City Road at Southeast 45th Place. This project has been accelerated by one year through flexible funding;
   * Strengthening both the Cherry Valley bridge and trestle east of Duvall to prevent major damage or collapse during an earthquake.
  
   In addition to road construction, the King County Transit Division is working on more than a dozen major projects this year. Much of the work focuses on improvements at park-and-ride lots, transfer points and bus zones. Highlights of transit capital projects include:
  
   * Building a van distribution center in Redmond for storage, processing and distribution of the vans in metro's vanpool and accessible services program;
  
   * Working on the Brickyard Road park-and-ride lot between Woodinville, Bothell and Kirkland to construct a new concrete roadway, improve lighting, sidewalks and drainage;
  
   * Paving park-and-ride lots in Seattle, Northshore and Renton.
  
   Executive Sims said that this construction season marks a new way the county will manage its road building program. "Last year, I proposed a Flexible Funding Initiative to help address our growing list of critical transportation needs," Sims said in a press release last week. "Today, I am pleased to announce we have been successful in our efforts to create a new and efficient funding approach that will cut the time it takes to get some projects off the drawing board and into our communities. This season, two major projects totaling $7.4 million will be constructed ahead of schedule in unincorporated areas."
  
   Residents with Internet access can keep a step ahead of construction slowdowns by accessing King County's web site at www.metrokc.gov/kcdot/roads/projects. The site tracks current construction activity. There are e-mail links to project managers as well.