Drivers will face a lot of road construction along 76th Avenue South in Kent between South 212th Street and South 228th Street over the next few months and into next year.
The city will close northbound lanes to through traffic from June 29 through this fall to start the raising of the road by about 3 feet to eliminate the annual flooding problem. Southbound lanes will remain open and traffic control will be in place.
The City Council awarded a $4.4 million contract in May to Puyallup-based Northwest Cascade Inc., to complete Phase 1 of the project.
Crews will raise the roadway above the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) 100-year flood elevation, according to city staff. Crews also will add sidewalks with planter strips, new streetlights, new storm drainage and a new water line. The raised section of the road will be done in concrete to help the street last longer. A high number of trucks use the road daily.
The contractor will be required to maintain access to all businesses. However, lane restrictions will occur. Impacts to businesses and the public include construction-related delays, driveway disruptions during the reconstruction of driveways, and related impacts such as noise and rough driving surfaces.
A $2.5 million grant from the state Transportation Improvement Board will help pay for the project. The rest of the monies will come from the B&O, storm drainage and water utility funds.
City staff reached an agreement last year with aerospace company Blue Origin to raise the road in exchange for the company to pay for a stormwater facility as part of its large expansion that opened in January. The council approved the agreement.
The street serves approximately 5,800 businesses employing more than 77,000, according to city documents.
This will mark just the first of three phases for the project, with an estimated total cost of $12 million, according to city staff. Phase 1 will go from the 22400 block to the 21700 block of 76th Avenue South. Phase 2 will go from the 21700 to 21400 block and Phase 3 from the 21400 to 21100 block. The exact timelines for the next two phases remain to be determined.