The city of Kent will receive $8.9 million in grants for two major transportation projects that will help improve mobility and reduce traffic congestion.
The Puget Sound Regional Council awarded a $4 million grant for the Veterans Drive extension, which will connect the South 228th Street corridor to the new State Route 509 extension and Interstate 5 interchange.
State Route 509 will provide an alternate route between Kent and Sea-Tac Airport, the Port of Seattle and downtown Seattle. This joint project between the state Department of Transportation and Kent will result in decreased congestion, improved non-motorized connections through the interchange and improved access to transit.
Crews are expected to begin the first phase of work on the 6-mile extension of SR 509 in 2020 and complete it in 2025. The second phase would wrap up in 2030.
The Puget Sound Regional Council also award the city a $1.4 million preservation grant in 2021 for South 212th Street for a new road surface between 72nd Avenue South and East Valley Highway. This well-traveled road serves as a major thoroughfare to bring freight to and from the Kent Valley.
The Washington State Transportation Improvement Board has awarded the city a $3.5 million transportation grant for completion of the South 228th Street/Union Pacific Railroad grade separation. City officials closed a portion of South 228th Street last week for the two-year project that will include an overpass over the tracks.
“As a city, we would not be able to operate without grant funding from a variety of sources,” Mayor Dana Ralph said in a city news release. “Obtaining grants is a long and complicated process, and our city staff works hard to identify grants that fit our needs. We want to thank the Puget Sound Regional Council and the Washington State Transportation Improvement Board for recognizing the importance of these projects and for their financial support.”