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Kent to receive $3.5 million in grants for street projects

The city of Kent received two grants worth $3.5 million for street projects from the Puget Sound Regional Council (PSRC).

Kent will get a $2 million grant toward the railroad-grade separation project at the BNSF Railway tracks and South 212th Street and a $1.5 million grant for the South Central Avenue pavement rehabilitation project. The timeline for construction has yet to be finalized as the city needs more funds for each project.

"This is fantastic news," said City Councilman Dennis Higgins, who announced the grants at the June 17 council meeting. "This gets us that much closer on both of those projects. This is very, very exciting."

Higgins thanked city Public Works engineers Mark Howlett, Mark Madfai and Nick Horn for their work on the grant applications. The PSRC awards federal grants to cities and counties.

The city received a $300,000 federal grant earlier this year to design Central Avenue South pavement improvements from Willis Street to South 262nd Street, a distance of just under a mile.

The street has many cracks, rutting and patches and requires reconstruction and an asphalt overlay. The road overlay will cost more than $2 million with total cost estimated at about $5 million.

Kent's also trying to raise funding packages for three railroad-grade separation projects, two on South 212th Street and one along South 228th Street. The estimated cost is about $25 million to build an overpass or underpass to separate vehicles from trains

The state Freight Mobility Strategic Investment Board has set aside a $3.25 million grant for the South 228th Street project and another $10 million for grade separations along South 212th Street at the UP and BNSF tracks.

• Southeast 240th Street repairs: Higgins also said that crews will soon do emergency repairs along Southeast 240th Street as it goes down the hill toward the Soos Creek Trail.

"The hillside is moving and we need to stabilize and rebuild the edge of the road," Higgins said. "It's unfortunate but has to be done. It's a busy road."

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