Kent to start work on South 212th/72nd Avenue intersection

Crews will start work this month on a $1.4 million project to replace the deteriorated asphalt at the intersection of South 212th Street and 72nd Avenue South in the Kent Valley with longer-lasting and 9-inch deep concrete.

Construction is expected to start Aug. 14 and be completed by the end of September, according to city Public Works officials. The City Council approved using business and occupation tax revenue to pay for the project.

South 212th Street will remain open for traffic during construction, but crews will close lanes intermittently, so drivers should expect delays. Crews will close 72nd Avenue South in both directions at the intersection. Detours and signage will direct traffic for access to and from 72nd Avenue South.

Crews will work during daytime hours, as well as nights and weekends, to reduce the duration of traffic impacts to the public and businesses.

“The intersection is in rough shape,” said Joe Araucto, city pavement management engineer, in a report last year to the council about the project. “This is the busiest road we have and with seven lanes the most expensive to maintain. A tremendous amount of trucks go through the intersection.”

The concrete costs more than asphalt but will hold up longer. The city has had success with a concrete intersection holding up well at South 180th Street and the East Valley Highway.

“When we get a lot of rain, we get a lot of potholes,” Araucto said about the intersection. “We want to put in concrete because of the amount of trucks we get at that intersection.”

The council in June approved a $1.4 million contract with Kiewit Infrastructure West Co., of Vancouver, Wash., to do the work. Kiewit submitted the low bid. The city engineer’s estimate was $1.2 million.

Crews will replace existing pedestrian curb and bike ramps as well as install new pedestrian traffic signals that will have Americans with Disabilities Act compliant pedestrian push buttons at each corner of the intersection. Workers also will install traffic signal loops to improve the reliability of signal timing.