Waterfront, Highway 99 projects get OK from Olympia

May 18, 2017

As expected, Gov. Jay Inslee signed a new, two-year, $8.5 million transportation budget May 16 that includes funding for two important local projects: the Edmonds Street Waterfront Connector and Highway 99 corridor enhancements.

The approved transportation budget includes $700,000 for continued design development, environmental review and documentation, and permitting work for the waterfront connect. It will provide an emergency, single-lane structure over the railroad tracks as an alternative to the at-grade rail crossings at Main and Dayton streets.

The approximately $29 million project will provide access for emergency vehicles, as well as ferry off-loading or on-loading, with the assistance of traffic control officers when train break-downs block the two crossings.

The structure also will provide 24/7, ADA-compliant access to the city’s waterfront attractions for pedestrians, bicyclists, and other nonmotorized traffic.

Meanwhile, the transportation budget also gave the city earlier access to necessary funding for Highway 99 improvements, as $1 million was moved up into the 2017-19 biennium from the $10 million appropriation approved in the 2015 session for the 2021-23 biennium.

In June, the City Council is expected to give its final approval to the Highway 99 Corridor Subarea Plan, together with associated code changes and related provisions, which includes a vision for safety, circulation, pedestrian and aesthetic enhancements within the right-of-way throughout the highway’s 2-mile stretch through Edmonds.

The $1 million up-front funding will enable the city to complete a more detailed plan for the transportation improvements needed in the Highway 99 corridor to achieve the vision expressed in the subarea plan.

 

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