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

City of Kent decides on full closure of James Street for repairs

Residents choose 20-day full shutdown to 60-day, one-lane use

Kent residents spoke, and city leaders listened to a planned closure of East James Street for road construction.

City officials will close the bottom of the James Street hill to all traffic for 20 days for a concrete pavement project, between Central Avenue North and Jason Avenue North, rather than a 60-day alternating lane closure. Crews will replace deteriorated asphalt pavement with concrete along a portion of East James Street.

Residents told city staff during a community meeting July 2 at the Kent Senior Activity Center that they prefer a complete shutdown. The street is one of the main commuter routes between the Kent Valley and the East Hill.

“Mayor (Dana) Ralph asked for a show of hands in favor and opposed to the proposal,” said Abdulnaser Almaroof, city engineering technician, in an email about the meeting. “All attendees voted for the full-road closure for 20 days with an additional 10 days of partial-road closures. There were no votes for the original partial closure option.”

About 40 people attended the meeting, Almaroof said. People also submitted emails and commented through social media.

“Mayor Ralph has verbally consented to the full closure,” Almaroof said.

City staff will prepare a change order to the contract with Kieweit and submit it for approval to the City Council’s Public Works Committee as well as the full council. If the council approves the contract at its July 17 meeting, work will start the weekend of July 21, Almaroof said.

City staff will release specific road closure dates and detours once details are finalized. Crews will detour most traffic to the Smith Street hill.

“The city heard you and is moving forward with the 20 day full-closure of East James Street,” according to the city of Kent Facebook page. “The 20 day full-closure option will save the city $200,000 dollars. Savings will be reinvested into future road improvement projects.”

Kieweit proposed the full closure in order to speed up the project. The council awarded the low bid on June 5 to Kiewit for $1.89 million, which is the contract that will be adjusted and voted on again with the new schedule. 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. City leaders decided to use concrete at the bottom of the hill because of the problems with flooding in the area and it lasts much longer than asphalt.


Talk to us

Please share your story tips by emailing editor@kentreporter.com.

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website https://www.kentreporter.com/submit-letter/. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) Please keep letters to 300 words or less.

More in News

t
One of two victims identified in fiery Kent crash

Kristen Anne Meyers, 53, died in May 11 crash on West Hill, according to medical examiner

t
City-owned ShoWare Center in Kent loses $742,675 in 2023

Losses lower than projected but expenses continue to exceed revenue at 6,200-seat arena

t
Kent firefighters extinguish two fires on the same morning | Photos

Friday, May 17 at apartment leasing office in the Valley and at a vacant East Hill house

Courtesy Photo, City of Kent
City of Kent population drops by 1,051 in 2023 compared to 2022

Decline similar to many cities of 50,000 or more across the nation, according to U.S. Census Bureau

t
Kent Police Blotter: April 25 to May 8

Incidents include burglaries, robberies, shootings

t
Rape charges dismissed against former Kent school bus driver

Prosecutors decide they could not prove the charges beyond a reasonable doubt due to medical tests

t
Feds indict 9 South King County residents on drug trafficking charges

Those accused from Federal Way, Kent, Renton, Enumclaw

A screenshot of King County Councilmember Reagan Dunn speaking about a proposed amendment for the proposed $20 minimum wage ordinance. (Screenshot)
King County approves $20.29 minimum wage for unincorporated areas

Councilmember Reagan Dunn and more than a dozen business owners argued tips and health care expenses should be a part of the new wage. The council passed the ordinance without the amendment.

Dave Upthegrove. COURTESY PHOTO
Upthegrove one of seven candidates for state lands commissioner

His King County Council member’s district includes part of Kent

COURTESY PHOTO, King County Elections
Candidates file for Kent-area races for Congress, Legislature

Incumbents face challengers in two Congressional contests and four state House races

t
Two die in single-car crash in Kent on West Hill

Sedan crashed Saturday evening, May 11 into tree and caught fire in 2400 block of South 272nd Street

t
Spanaway man, 25, faces murder charge in Kent bar shooting

Reportedly shot Federal Way man, 30, eight times inside Meeker Street Bar & Grill