Work started last week on the improvement project in the upper lot of the Mountlake Terrace Transit Center. Contractors will repair and replace pavement, improve drainage and upgrade underground utilities and light poles.
The surface lot pavement is more than 25 years old and parts of it are showing their age. Cracks and tree roots have damaged the asphalt and created a tripping hazard. These areas will be repaired and replaced with permeable pavement, which also should reduce the number of puddles when it rains. While the actual work will involve only about 30 percent of the surface lot, the entire area will be closed for safety and construction staging.
The project cost is estimated at about $425,000. It is funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, part of the 2009 stimulus package granted by the federal government specifically for capital projects only. This was the only transit project selected for Federal Highway Administration stimulus funding, which came through the Snohomish County Tomorrow Infrastructure Coordinating Committee. No local funds will be used for construction.
“Receiving this ARRA funding is very helpful, considering our current financial situation,” said CEO Joyce Eleanor. “This project really needs to be done, and because we have stimulus money to do it, we are able to preserve local funds for transit service.”
In addition to replacing part of the pavement, the project will add a new topcoat and striping to the lot. When complete, the surface lot will have 205 parking spaces, about the same number as are currently available. During the project, underground utilities and light pole bases will be added for future upgrades to lighting.
The Mountlake Terrace Transit Center parking garage — which was opened in February 2009 — has room for 660 vehicles, plenty of room to accommodate those who currently use the surface parking lot as well as those who already use the garage.
When all the work is complete, the transit center will have room for nearly 900 vehicles. The project was built for transit growth and some of that will come in 2011 when Sound Transit opens its I-5 flyer stop, which is under construction in the freeway median west of the transit center. A pedestrian bridge will connect the parking garage with the flyer stop when it opens next year.