Crews will finish the third and final phase of raising 76th Avenue South between South 212th Street and South 228th Street to curtail the flooding from Mill Creek. COURTESY PHOTO, City of Kent

Crews will finish the third and final phase of raising 76th Avenue South between South 212th Street and South 228th Street to curtail the flooding from Mill Creek. COURTESY PHOTO, City of Kent

Crews to begin work on $13.8 million final phase of 76th Avenue upgrade

Street to be raised above Mill Creek floodplain, paved with concrete; bridges to replace culverts

Crews will start construction next month in Kent on the third and final phase of raising 76th Avenue South to curtail flooding from Mill Creek that has hampered the street for years.

The Kent City Council approved a $13.8 million bid in February for the project, with about $11 million covered by state grants and the rest by the city. The work is along 76th Avenue South between South 212th Street and South 228th Street.

“Without these funding partners, the city would not be able to complete the project at this time,” City Public Works Director Chad Bieren said in a March 20 email.

The city received grants of $5 million from the Washington State Freight Mobility Strategic Investment Board; $3 million from the state Department of Ecology; and $3 million from the Washington State Transportation Improvement Board, Bieren said. The city will cover its portion with monies from its street fund (property taxes) and storm drainage utility fund (fees).

“This is the south phase of a three-phase project to raise the road out of the Mill Creek floodplain and pave with concrete to improve the lifecycle of the street surface,” Bieren said. “The project will replace five undersized culverts with three new bridges to improve fish habitat and creek conveyance.”

The council approved a $4.4 million bid for the first phase of the project in 2020, including a $2.5 million grant from the state Transportation Improvement Board. That work was completed in 2021. Crews finished the $4 million second phase in 2023, which included a $3.48 million grant from the Puget Sound Regional Council.

Kent received a lot of grant help in part because 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.

“This is the last 1,200 feet of the roadway raising,” Bieren said.

The project raises the existing road surface above the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) 100-year flood elevation with a concrete roadway. Crews also will remove eight deficient culverts at five locations; construct two voided slab concrete girder bridges and one steel girder bridge; expand the Mill Creek channel; and construct fish habitat improvements.

Tacoma-based Active Construction Inc. submitted the lowest and responsive bid out of three bids received, according to city documents.

“We expect work to start late April/early May with all construction completed fall 2025 – a two-year construction season is necessary due to work in and around Mill Creek.” Bieren said.

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