Plus, Meydenbauer Bay Park construction and Fire Station 10 update
On Monday, the City Council reviewed plans for the first neighborhood congestion relief project funded with revenue from a voter-approved levy last November. The project on 150th Avenue Southeast, just south of Interstate 90, is designed to help ease traffic congestion during the afternoon commute.
Councilmembers lauded the plan for the quick assessment performed to identify an effective, relatively low-cost way to provide congestion relief in the Eastgate-I-90 interchange area. The project includes two improvements:
- 150th Avenue Southeast and Southeast Newport Way: The project would add a 600-foot long, southbound right-turn lane on 150th at Newport Way, along with a sidewalk on the west side of the street. The estimated cost of the improvements is $2.6 million.
- 150th Avenue Southeast and Southeast 37th Street: This project would improve the east, west and north legs of the intersection by creating or expanding turn lanes and widening the roadway or shoulder at some locations. The estimated cost is $2.8 million.
Traffic models indicate the project would shorten the average delay at both intersections. It would also improve average travel times on southbound 148th/150th Avenue Southeast, from Southeast 28th Street through Newport Way, from 12 minutes to 7.2 minutes during the afternoon commute.
The proposal considered Monday includes using $1 million in levy funding to pay for up to 60 percent of the design work needed. The remaining cost for final designs and construction will come in a future budget allocation.
Staff and the Transportation Commission proposed the projects on 150th Avenue following direction in November from Mayor John Stokes, who asked for cost-effective improvements that could be finished in the near to mid-term. The request was made in the broader context of proposed amendments to the Eastgate Land Use Code, designed to boost the vitality and aesthetics of the Eastgate commercial corridor.
Approved by 54 percent of voters, the transportation-focused Neighborhood Safety, Connectivity and Congestion levy will raise approximately $140 million over 20 years, or about $7 million per year for a variety of project types.
Meydenbauer Bay Park construction
Later in the evening, the council approved a contract with IMCO General Construction to build the Meydenbauer Bay Park Phase 1 project. The creation of the new park has been a 30-year vision of the council that started with the adoption of the 1987 Parks and Open Space Plan. Between 1992 and 2007, the city acquired 12 properties to add to the original land that King County transferred to Bellevue when the city was incorporated in 1953.
Phase 1 of the $14.6 million contract will occur primarily west and northwest of 99th Avenue Northeast to connect with and expand the existing park. Construction will start at the beginning of May and is expected to be completed in fall 2018. Meydenbauer Beach Park will be closed during the project.
Fire Station 10 briefing
Councilmembers were also updated on the property acquisition steps for the new Fire Station 10. After analyzing several possible locations, the city selected a site in September on the northwest corner of 112th Avenue Northeast. and Northeast 12th Street. Funding for design and construction of the new fire station was a major component of the Fire Facilities Levy which was approved by 57 percent of voters last November.
In a review of the selection process, staff explained the criteria used to evaluate potential sites. This process was aided by an outside consultant utilizing both national and local standards for emergency response:
- Response time and coverage;
- Site access and traffic impacts;
- Freeway access for Medic 1;
- Acquisition costs;
- Site configuration; and
- Land use impacts.
As has been stated in previous public meetings, Fire Chief Mark Risen noted that fire and medic response times were the weightiest factors. Modeling on two other sites found response times to be significantly less effective. During the discussion, councilmembers acknowledged that it is common in Bellevue as well as throughout the country for fire stations to be located in residential neighborhoods.
Moving forward, staff will proceed with property acquisition. Construction, at the earliest, would not begin until 2019. Public input on the station design and mitigation will be sought during the permit process.
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