Residents will continue to see sidewalk improvements along West Meeker Street as the city of Kent expands its Meet Me on Meeker project.
The City Council awarded a $1.4 million contract on Oct. 6 to Maple Valley-based Axum General Construction, Inc. The company will extend sidewalk improvements on the south side of Meeker Street about 750 feet from the Riverbend Driving Range to the new Midtown 64 Apartments.
The project will construct a multimodal promenade on the south side of Meeker Street (east of Russell Road), a two-way shared use path, streetscape amenities, wider sidewalk, street trees and vegetated buffers, pedestrian signals, pedestrian lighting and street lighting. The project will also include a upgrade of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) sidewalk curb ramps at each corner of the Russell Road and West Meeker intersection.
Crews recently finished sidewalk improvements in front of the driving range. The council awarded a $2.3 million bid to Pacific-based ICON Materials on Feb. 4 for the Meet Me on Meeker Sidewalk and Riverbend Driving Range improvements. That project included similar sidewalk work to the current project as well as a new driving range parking lot and a Russell Road bike/pedestrian connection to the Green River Trail.
“If you take a drive past the driving range, it looks really great out there,” interim Public Works Director Chad Bieren said to the council about the sidewalk upgrades.
Bieren said the city received a federal grant in the spring to help pay for the extension to Midtown 64. The city also will use a matching grant from its capital resources fund.
“Eventually, this will complete the (Meet Me on Meeker) standard from the Green River to 64th Avenue South in six to eight months when the project is complete,” Bieren said. “It’s an exciting milestone.”
The city received 15 bids, which ranged from $1.4 million to $1.9 million. The city engineer’s estimate for the project was $1.7 million.
“After we complete this section, we will apply for grants and continue upgrading the south side of the road towards downtown,” Bieren said in an email.
The city’s Meet Me on Meeker project is an effort to improve the safety, identity and connectivity of the historic core of Downtown Kent to the Green River. Sidewalk improvements also were made as part of the Ethos Apartments project across from the 18-hole Riverbend Golf Course. The developers of the Ethos and Midtown 64 apartment complexes paid for the improvements along their property as part of a city requirement for the Meet Me on Meeker standards.
City leaders plan to ask the state Legislature next year for $5 million to help complete the sidewalk connection to downtown.