Also, shoreline hearing, fiber connectivity inventory and East Link committee appointments
Taking a big step toward keeping traffic moving in and out of booming downtown and supporting planned growth in the Bel-Red area, the City Council Monday awarded a $14.9 million contract to Goodfellow Bros. to improve 120th Avenue Northeast between Northeast Seventh and 12th streets.
This project is part of the city's Mobility and Infrastructure initiative, a package of improvements to arterials downtown and in the Wilburton and Bel-Red areas that will improve access, circulation, economic vitality and mobility options for cars, transit, freight, pedestrians and bicyclists.
The city is widening 120th Avenue Northeast to five lanes (two travel lanes in each direction with a left-turn lane where necessary) and adding:
- bike lanes and sidewalks on both sides;
- street lighting and landscaping;
- a new traffic signal at the intersection of Lake Bellevue Drive and Old Bel-Red Road; and
- the modification of the signals at Northeast Eighth and 12th streets.
In addition, the project will remove contaminated material, stabilize the ground of soft soils, construct a joint utility trench to provide future underground utility facilities and provide a new sewer and water system.
Goodfellow Bros., with corporate offices in Wenatchee and Hawaii, was the low bidder of five submittals for the project.
The project, with construction starting this fall and continuing to April 2016, is the second of four stages of improvements to 120th Avenue. The first stage, from Northeast Fourth Street to Northeast Eighth Street, is nearing completion. The third stage requires coordination with Sound Transit’s East Link project and the fourth is not yet funded. Those stages will extend improvements from Northeast 12th Street to Northup Way.
Hearing on shoreline regulations
A public hearing regarding new shoreline regulations drew about 30 speakers, many of them waterfront property owners. About 100 people attended. The council is considering an update of the city's Shoreline Master Program, which regulates development and use of the city's shorelines.
The current SMP was adopted in 1974 and has changed little since. The Planning Commission submitted a draft SMP update to the council last year.
The council held the hearing to gather input as it considers variations to the draft SMP recommended by the Planning Commission. Many of the speakers expressed concerns about changes requiring public access, native vegetation and increased building setbacks. There was also strong support to adopt the Planning Commission's submittal without changes.
The council will ultimately submit an SMP update to the state Department of Ecology for approval.
Taking inventory of fiber-optic network
The council authorized a $250,000 contract with a Seattle planning and engineering firm to produce an updated inventory of city-owned fiber-optic cable and other infrastructure that can support high-speed Internet connections in Bellevue.
State-of-the-art communications facilities have been a goal for the city since 1992, and the council and staff have fielded multiple questions about high-speed connectivity from residents and businesses in recent years. The proliferation of Internet-ready devices, high-definition video, always-connected workers and high-tech businesses fuel ever higher connectivity speeds.
Bellevue residents who currently have Internet service in most cases have cable connections that transfer data at 40 to 100 megabits per second. Ultrafast or broadband fiber connections can deliver up to 1,000 megabits per second. "Gig service" allows for streaming of high-definition video without delays, fast browsing by multiple users on a network and quality video conferencing.
While the city may not be in a position to install broadband connections across Bellevue, it can help service providers by offering current information on available conduit and unused fiber. The city can also join in regional partnerships to connect schools, hospitals and other cities with the latest on broadband connectivity infrastructure.
DKS, a Seattle transportation planning and engineering firm, was chosen over four other firms in a procurement process.
Appointment of East Main station area advisory committee members
The council confirmed the appointment of residents and business owners to a committee that will make recommendations on strategies to help integrate light rail with the area surrounding the future East Main station, which will be on 112th Avenue just south of Main Street.
The East Main Citizen Advisory Committee is the first station area planning CAC to be appointed. A second CAC will be appointed to provide input on changes to the area around the Hospital station.
Sound Transit staff also appeared before the council to provide a regular update on the progress of the East Link light rail project.
Available on video
Monday's council meeting will be rebroadcast several times this week on Bellevue TV (channel 21) and is available for streaming any time from Bellevue TV.
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