Traffic will be reduced to one lane in each direction in Kent from 8 p.m. to 5 a.m. on Tuesday and Wednesday, Feb. 18-19, at the intersection of Fourth Avenue South and West Willis Street (State Route 518) for utility work across Willis Street.
Traffic control and a uniformed police officer will be in place to direct traffic. The work is part of the planned replacement of the traffic signals with a roundabout.
Construction is scheduled to start this summer on the roundabout and be completed in the fall. The intersection will remain open during construction, but traffic will be reduced to one lane in all directions. There may be several weekend closures.
For more information about the utility work, go to kentwa.gov.
City officials said the roundabout is needed to:
• Improve intersection safety, traffic flow and efficiency for pedestrians, bicycles and vehicles
• Enhance the landscaping to create a welcoming gateway into the city
• The roundabout is required for the city to get state approval for new northbound road (Naden Avenue) connecting West Meeker Street to Willis Street (SR 516) east of the Valley Freeway (SR 167).
The city has an agreement with a developer to build a hotel just north of Willis Street on the Naden property.
The project, if it includes a gateway to Kent, will cost between $4 to $6 million with $3 million coming from the state Legislature to construct the roundabout, according to city officials. The city also is seeking a $3 million grant from the state to build the gateway near the intersection.
The Gateway to Kent is a planned welcoming signage, bicycle/pedestrian walkway with lighting, landscaping, artwork and more at the intersection of Fourth Avenue South and Willis Street. The design will include a multicultural theme that reflects Kent’s diverse community.