“It’s time to celebrate a little bit,” said City of Edmonds Public Works Director Phil Williams as about 30 people gathered on 76th Avenue West just north of 228th Street Wednesday afternoon to mark the completion of the missing link of roadway connecting Mountlake Terrace to Edmonds across Highway 99.
Williams said that the $7.83 million effort is the largest project, dollar-wise, that the City of Edmonds has ever completed “as far as I can tell.” Of that amount, $5.45 million came from federal grants and $1.44 million from State of Washington Transportation Improvement Board. The City of Mountlake Terrace contributed $418,000 toward project improvements, most of which are associated with the repaving, the overlays, the restriping of Lakeview Drive headed eastbound from Edmonds through Mountlake Terrace to Interstate 5 and the Mountlake Terrace Transit Center, Williams said.
At its core, the project was about safety and that’s what attracted funding for the effort, Williams said. “We’ve dramatically improved safety for all modes of travel in and around Highway 99, including automobiles, pedestrians, bicyclists.”
Because of the project, Edmonds and Mountlake Terrace drivers will be able to travel more efficiently between the two cities. “It creates a whole new corridor, east and west, across Highway 99,” he said.
The project includes two new signalized intersections on 228th Street Southwest at both Highway 99 and 76th Avenue West, providing a safe way for pedestrians to cross at those intersection, and a safer way for motor vehicle drivers to make a left turn onto the highway. Bicycle lanes, sidewalks and lighting were also added to both sides of 228th Street.
In addition, the project extends the center median on Highway 99 to restrict the southbound left turn from 76th Avenue West to Highway 99. “We had a lot of collisions over the years because of those turning movements,” Williams said. “People are traveling at high speeds, and they make a high speed turn across multiple lanes of traffic with speeding cars there — not a good situation.”
The project also provides stormwater protection for nearby Lake Ballinger, with the addition of storm water detention vaults, infiltration galleries, and bio-swale within the project limits to improve drainage, as well as water and sewer upgrades.
Councilmember Adrienne Fraley-Monillas, who lives near Highway 99 in Edmonds’ Lake Ballinger neighborhood, said those who live in the area are appreciating the new connection.
“I want to say how excited we are up near Highway 99 to have this new and improved highway,” Fraley-Monillas said. “We finally have some safety getting on and off this road. I think this is an exciting improvement for the City of Edmonds.”
The project was nine years in the making, having been identified in the City of Edmonds in 2007 as part of its Highway 99 corridor analysis project, focusing on the two-mile stretch of the highway that runs through the City of Edmonds. Connecting 228th Street Southwest from 76th Avenue West to Highway 99 was the highest rated project on the list, Williams said.
The public works director had a long list of people to thank for contributing to the project, including elected officials, city staff and consultants, but he also gave a shout-out to the nearby business owners and residents who endured nearly a year of construction.
“I thank them for their patience,” he said.
You can learn more at the City’s web page.
— Story and photos by Teresa Wippel