City discusses future transportation projects

Projects on tap for the city top $100 million combined.

With major transportation planning already in the works, the Bellevue city council got an update on the current state of transportation projects and planning in the city totalling more than $100 million.

At the April 15 study session, assistant director of the Transportation Department Ron Kessack gave the council an update on the 2019-2025 Capital Investment Program funding for transportation before highlighting several projects planned for the city.

At the end of 2018, the council adopted a budget that reflected the community’s interest in transportation, he said. A total of 40 percent of the CIP budget ($278 million) was dedicated to transportation uses. Of that funding, $209 million will go toward ongoing and new projects, while $69 million will be used for ongoing maintenance of existing city roads and facilities.

Ongoing programs to improve and maintain aspects like pedestrian, bicycle and traffic safety continue with the funding. Some of the major projects supported by the CIP include the Southeast Newport Way improvement for pedestrians and cyclists. A bike lane on the south side of the road and a multi-purpose path on north side will be installed from Somerset Boulevard Southeast to 150th Avenue Southeast. Kessack said the project is at 100 percent design and the city is now working on property acquisition. Construction will begin when the city obtains the property for the paths.

West Lake Sammamish Parkway improvements will continue in 2019 as well. In addition to multi-use pathways and expanded street lanes, utilities work will be done along the road. Kessack said 11,000 feet of water main will be added to improve water pressure south of Lake Sammamish.

The city has also made progress on the Mountains to Sound Greenway Trail extension project. The city has begun work to bridge a 3.6-mile gap in the Mountain to Sound Greenway Trail that runs from Seattle to Ellensburg. The first part of the project will extend the trail along Interstate 90 from Interstate 405 to 132nd Avenue Southeast. The trail will travel through a tunnel under the highway interchange ramp and will cross over Factoria Boulevard on a pedestrian/bicycle bridge.

Kessack said the design has been completed and the city has recently obtained a trail lease agreement with the Washington State Department of Transportation to conduct the construction work this summer.

The city also has several projects funded through the Neighborhood Connectivity and Congestion Management Levy. At the end of 2018, 13 projects had been completed using the funding. The city pans to have 26 more in construction by 2020. The city also has an interactive map of the projects funded through the levy at bellevuewa.gov/transportationlevy.

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