This map shows the proposed detour route planned for later this summer for construction along East James Street. COURTESY GRAPHIC, City of Kent

This map shows the proposed detour route planned for later this summer for construction along East James Street. COURTESY GRAPHIC, City of Kent

Do Kent drivers prefer full or partial closure of James Street during road construction?

City wants opinions about 20-day full shutdown or 60-day lane stoppage

Drivers who use the James Street hill can let the city of Kent know whether they prefer to close the entire bottom portion of the street for 20 days for road construction or spread the work over 60 days with alternating lane closures.

An East James Street Construction Project Community Meeting is set for 6 to 8 p.m. on Monday, July 2, at the Kent Senior Activity Center, 600 E. Smith St.

Kiewit, the contractor, has proposed a full closure of the area for 20 days with an additional 10 days of partial lane closures for striping and paving rather than the planned 60-day lane closures along one of the primary commute routes between the East Hill and the Kent Valley.

City staff will discuss the proposals with residents at the meeting and want to hear what residents think before making a decision about which plan to use. Residents also can send comments to Abdulnaser Almaroof, city engineering technician, at AAlmaroof@Kentwa.gov or call 253-856-5535.

The change would save the city about $200,000, according to city staff. But the change to a complete closure will have a more significant impact on the neighborhood and commuters than the 60-day plan, city staff said. Commuters will be detoured to Smith Street during the closure.

The city sent postcards to residents about the pavement project between Central Avenue North and Jason Avenue North that will start in July and is scheduled to end in the fall. Crews will replace deteriorated asphalt pavement with concrete along a portion of East James Street.

Crews will place concrete 8 inches deep along James Street between Central Avenue North and Clark/Jason Avenue North. The City Council awarded the low bid on June 5 to Kiewit for $1.89 million. Funds from the city’s business and occupation tax will pay for the work.

Two years ago, crews installed new asphalt overlay on the upper part of the James Street hill.

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