The city will install lights similar to these along West Meeker Street in the State Route 167 underpass along West James Street. COURTESY PHOTO, City of Kent

The city will install lights similar to these along West Meeker Street in the State Route 167 underpass along West James Street. COURTESY PHOTO, City of Kent

Kent to add decorative lights to SR 167 underpass along West James Street

City Council approves $237,476 contract to create safer, more inviting area

Decorative lighting is coming later this year to the State Route 167 underpass along West James Street, just west of North Lincoln Avenue and the James Street Park & Ride lot.

The Kent City Council on Aug. 20 unanimously approved a low bid of $237,476 by Pacific-based Titan Earthwork to install the lighting system. The intent is to create a safe and more inviting area for pedestrians and drivers under SR 167, similar to when the city added lights to the West Meeker Street underpass in 2018.

“I want to thank staff for their persistence on this,” Councilmember Dennis Higgins said. “I know it takes a heck of a lot of time to work with WSDOT (Washington State Department of Transportation) on things like this. We’ve been wanting this for a long time. I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve heard people comment about how dark it is leaving ShoWare and going under there. We want to have a welcoming environment down in that area.”

The project consists of the installation of new artistic lighting (approximately 26 units) under the bridge, new fixtures, a new electrical cabinet, junction boxes, conduits, connection to a power source and wiring for the system.

Titan Earthworks listed installation of the lighting system in its bid as the highest cost at $110,000. Other costs include $46,500 for temporary traffic control, $21,463 for mobilization and $15,000 for the electrical cabinet with foundation.

Four bids were received by the city. The others included $362,235 by Elcon Corp., of Everett; $327, 987 by Transportation Systems, Inc., of Sumner; and $306,576 by Colvico Inc., of Spokane. The city engineer’s estimate was $324,720.

“We expect the project to start this fall and be completed by winter,” said Chad Bieren, city Public Works deputy director, in an email. “We don’t have exact dates yet, as we’re still working to execute the contract with the contractor.”

The city will pay for the project with a combination of budgeted Public Works funds and savings from other transportation projects, according to city documents.

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