The second of three phases of work has started along 76th Avenue South to raise the street to reduce flooding between South 212th Street and South 228th Street. COURTESY FILE PHOTO, City of Kent

The second of three phases of work has started along 76th Avenue South to raise the street to reduce flooding between South 212th Street and South 228th Street. COURTESY FILE PHOTO, City of Kent

Construction continues in Kent on raising of 76th Avenue South

Work starts on second of three phases to reduce flooding from Mill Creek

Construction continues to help combat the longtime flooding in Kent of 76th Avenue South from Mill Creek overflows.

Northbound traffic on 76th Avenue South will be closed from South 212th Street to approximately 1,000 feet south of South 212th Street from Nov. 30 to spring 2023 as crews raise the road, according to the city of Kent Public Works Department.

Southbound traffic will remain open. Northbound local access only from South 228th to approximately 1,000 feet south of South 212th Street for the reconstruction and raising of 76th Avenue South.

Known as the north phase, this is the second of three phases of work along the street that annually floods. The estimated cost of the project is $4 million, according to Public Works documents. The city received a $3.4 million grant from the Puget Sound Regional Council to help pay for the work. The remainder will be covered by the city’s B&O and utility funds.

In order to significantly reduce the occurrence of seasonal flooding on 76th Avenue South, the project will raise the roadway above the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) 100-year flood elevation. The street serves approximately 5,800 businesses employing more than 77,000 people, according to city documents. Aerospace company Blue Origin is the largest employer along the street.

Crews completed the middle phase in 2021 at a cost of $4 million. The city received a $2.5 million grant from the state Transportation Improvement Board to help pay for that project. Additional funding was provided by city B&O and utility funds.

Permitting and project design are underway for the south phase, which will cost an estimated $8 million. That project will improve Mill Creek at 76th Avenue South by replacing deficient culverts to expand creek channel capacity. The project includes widening the creek channel, replacing insufficient culverts, raising 76th Avenue South, installing new storm and water systems, sidewalks, planters and illumination. Construction could begin in 2023.

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