Tukwila celebrates opening of Southcenter Parkway extension

Tukwila Mayor Jim Haggerton prepares to cut a ribbon Friday, Dec. 14 to celebrate the opening of the Southcenter Parkway extension from South 180th Street to South 200th Street. - STEVE HUNTER, Tukwila Reporter
Tukwila Mayor Jim Haggerton prepares to cut a ribbon Friday, Dec. 14 to celebrate the opening of the Southcenter Parkway extension from South 180th Street to South 200th Street.
— image credit: STEVE HUNTER, Tukwila Reporter

More roads lead to Tukwila with the opening of the Southcenter Parkway extension.

City officials and others gathered last Friday at the intersection of Southcenter Parkway and Segale Park Drive C to cut a ribbon, pose with a banner and celebrate the 1.4-mile extension that runs between South 180th Street and South 200th Street and replaces the old Frager Road.

"It's going to pay dividends in the future for not only the city of Tukwila but for this entire Tukwila south business area," said Tukwila Mayor Jim Haggerton.

The street extension is part of the city's Tukwila South development project expected to provide up to 25,000 jobs, 1,700 housing units and 10 million square feet of office and retail space. The Segale family owns most of the property along the new street and plans to develop the area. The new roadway will provide much approved access to Interstate 5 and the South 188th Street interchange via South 200th Street and Orillia Road.

"The Segale family is very pleased to have the new roadway open," said Jami Balint, counsel for the family. "We are even more pleased that even though we are having the ribbon cutting (Friday), we were able to get the road open before Thanksgiving and before the start of the very busy holiday season."

Balint said the Segale family invested in wetland enhancement, flood protection and infrastructure improvements along the Southcenter Parkway extension.

"These investments are not only for the benefit of the Segale family but for the city of Tukwila," Balint said.

Construction crews began work on the new street more than two years ago. The planning started many years ago.

"I can't tell you how difficult this particular project was," Haggerton said. "I remember in the negotiations of the development agreement with the Segale family, I was quoted as saying, 'This is a simple five-lane road.' But believe me this was not a simple five-lane road.

"There were so many agencies involved that we had to deal with. The Army Corps of Engineers for the cross valley (Green River) levee issues. We had permit issues. That's why it took a little bit longer than any project normally would. It was a very, very complicated project."

Scarsella Brothers, Inc., of Kent, received the $18 million construction contract. Overall, the project cost $22 million, including design, construction, construction management and agreements with Puget Sound Energy and the Highline Water District. The city received about $18 million in state and federal grants for the project and funded the rest through general obligation bonds.

The curvy, two-lane Frager road has been replaced by a five-lane street that also runs farther to the west, especially up by South 200th Street. Crews realigned the new street close to the hillside to maximize development.

The City Council last month adopted a right-of-way ordinance that allowed the street to open. The original agreement between the city and developer La Pianta LLC, run by the Segale family, failed to address replacement access issues for two parcels along Southcenter Parkway, including truck access for a moving company, according to city documents. City officials had expected a July opening until the delay.

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