Story and photo by Doug Petrowksi
About 30 local residents and business owners attended a City of Edmonds Open House Thursday evening concerning planned street construction and improvements around the crossroads of 228th Street Southwest, 76th Avenue West and Highway 99.
Edmonds is planning to build a new section of 228th Street Southwest between 76th Avenue West and Highway 99; install two new traffic signals; add new crosswalks, turn lanes and traffic barriers; build an underground storm water detention and filtration system; improve sidewalks and storm water collection; and overlay and reconfigure street surfaces in the project area. The $5-million project is expected to be completed by December 2014.
Designs for the project are now only 60 percent completed, allowing the city to conduct a public forum to present project specifics and gather a last round of comments before plans are set in stone. The design phase of the project is expected to be finished in early 2013.
Attendees at the open house expressed concerns about an expected increase in vehicular traffic along 228th Street Southwest both east and west of the project area, the likelihood that drivers will use nearby residential streets to avoid potential congestion, and limiting access to properties along the affected roadways.
New Mountlake Terrace residents Holly Armstrong and David Stern were worried about the additional cars and trucks that are expected to use 228th Street Southwest and Lakeview Drive on their way to the Mountlake Terrace Transit Center and the I-5 interchange. “What is the increase traffic going to look like,” Armstrong said. The couple bought a house at 228th Avenue Southwest and 72nd Place West, adjacent to the Interurban Trail, just two months ago.
Cleta Lee lives on 228th Avenue Southwest just east of the 76nd Street intersection and manages the 76 Union gas station and convenience store at 76th and Highway 99. She points out that the project includes the elimination of the left-turn from southbound Highway 99 onto 76th Avenue and into her station. “I’m really hurting here,” she confessed, projecting the station may lose as much as 20 percent of their business because of the access changes.
City of Edmonds officials insist the project will improve conditions and access for drivers and transit, provide more safety for drivers, bicyclists and pedestrians, and encourage economic development along Highway 99.
Cost of the project is being covered almost entirely by federal money obtained by the City of Edmonds. Of the $5 million price tag, only $230,000 is coming out of City of Edmonds capital project funds; $4.77 million is coming from various federal grants.
Mountlake Terrace traffic engineer Janet Hall spoke briefly about the city’s interest in the project. A portion of Lakeview Drive and all of 228th Street Southwest east of the Interurban Trail will receive a surface overlay as part of project construction. Mountlake Terrace is also upgrading sidewalks and bicycle access on 228th Street and Lakeview Drive in 2013, with Hall promising the improvements will be completed before Edmonds finishes with its construction in late 2014. Another Mountlake Terrace public forum/open house on its redesign of 228th/Lakeview Drive and creation of bicycle lanes, dubbed the Lakeview Trail, will be held in early 2013.
The City of Edmonds is welcoming public comment on its project through Nov. 8. Comments can be dropped off at Edmonds City Hall, 121-5th Ave. N., or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.