Northwest NEWS

August 23, 1999

Local News

Planning underway on Woodinville Gateway project

by Marshall Haley, staff reporter

   WOODINVILLE--At the City Council's Aug. 16 study session, Public Works Director Mick Monken presented results of a June 17 workshop held by Entranco, the project management firm hired by the City to orchestrate the SR-202/NE 145th (Hollywood Hill) intersection project.

   Several groups of citizens, business owners, project subcontractors, various utility representatives, and City staff participated in the "Stakeholders" design workshop. Their goal was to compile a list of mutually beneficial proposals for the intersection upgrade.

   Participants divided into four teams. The workshop teams considered impact on environmental areas, private properties, local businesses, and recreation. The project will expand vehicle capacity, enhance pedestrian and bike movement, provide a trail connection to the river, and construct a South End Gateway to the Tourist District (the Ste. Michelle and Columbia Wineries and Redhook Brewery area).

   In the past two CIP's (Capital Improvement Projects), the City Council has identified the Hollywood Hill intersection as the number one project. The design study phase will continue into 2000, with the engineering phase in 2000 and construction in 2001-2005. The entire project will cost an estimated $1,735,000.

   Key issues identified by workshop teams include:

   Monken presented a handful of design guidance issues from each of the four workshop teams. Two teams favored relocating Tributary 90. The Council leaned away from relocation, citing a wide variety of public opinions of the stream's original course, including that it might have originally run under the Hollywood Schoolhouse, the Chevron station, and the baseball fields northwest of the intersection.

   "That would not work," said Councilmember and noted environmentalist Barbara Solberg. "We couldn't push those ballfields farther up the valley, especially if no one is sure of the original streambed."

   City Manager Pete Rose agreed, citing a potential cost of $500,000 to relocate the stream. "The traffic needs must override stream needs, if we can't significantly improve stream beds," said Rose.

   Mayor Don Brocha also questioned how stream relocation could be included if the original streambed could not be located. Councilmember Carol Bogue also did not favor moving the stream.

   One nameless spectator noted that the entire Puget Sound area, especially downtown Seattle, would have to be leveled, if all creeks were to be restored to their original conditions. That would include tearing down the new Safeco Field and all buildings south of downtown Seattle, in order to dig up the former tideflats to rebuild a couple of Seattle's former hills, he said.

   Brocha expressed concern for affected businesses, noting that the higher traffic volume produced by the upgrade might bring more potential customers, or it might drive more people to seek alternate routes.

   Councilmember Randy Ransom said greater right-of-way should produce greater access to businesses in the area.

   Chevron owner Tony Shaheen asked if signs could be placed near the Sammamish bike trail advising trail users of the businesses at the intersection. Parks Director Lane Youngblood said the County has traditionally not allowed such signs, but that the City could ask for a special dispensation to place signs near the trail but off the bike corridor proper.