• Council Roundup: $100M in transportation projects

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    On Monday, the City Council previewed what is anticipated to be a busy season for transportation construction; more than $100 million worth of projects expected to commence this year in Bellevue.

    The presentation was part of a broader look at the transportation portion of the city’s capital projects budget. It pays for projects that enhance and maintain the transportation system. Councilmembers’ reactions to both the volume and quality of work, recently accomplished and pending, were uniformly positive.

    Transportation makes up the lion’s share of 2019-2025 Capital Investment Program, which also funds work by other city departments. The capital budget generally pays for fixed assets such as roads, buildings and equipment, rather than salaries and services; those expenditures are supported by the city’s general fund.

    The major transportation projects slated to kick off this year include: improvements on Southeast Newport Way, from Somerset Boulevard to 150th Avenue Southeast; West Lake Sammamish Parkway, phase 2; and the widening of 124th Avenue Northeast, from Spring Boulevard to Ichigo Way.

    Others are the Mountains to Sound Greenway Trail project near Interstate 90 and I-405; a new section of Spring Boulevard, from 116th to 120th Avenue Northeast; and a neighborhood congestion reduction project on 150th Avenue Southeast.

    Other highlights of the transportation capital budget:

    • Transportation projects and programs make up 40 percent of the seven-year capital budget, with $209 million targeted for new transportation construction projects and $69 million for ongoing maintenance. Most of the maintenance budget – $5 to $7 million annually – is dedicated to the city’s overlay program.
    • Revenue for the transportation CIP comes from sales, business, real estate and motor vehicle taxes (46 percent), a low-interest federal loan secured in 2017 (22 percent), the 2016, voter-approved Safety, Connectivity and Congestion Levy (20 percent), grants and agreements (8 percent) and other sources (4 percent).
    • In addition to the annual overlay work, examples of ongoing programs include neighborhood traffic safety, street and signal maintenance, pedestrian-bicycle improvements and neighborhood sidewalks.
    • Last year, the levy helped fund the completion of 13 projects. In 2019 and 2020, another 26 levy projects are anticipated to be completed or under construction.

    A video of the CIP presentation provides additional detail. Transportation has more information.

    Recognizing Arbor Day-Earth Day

    During the regular session, the council took a moment to recognize April 20 as Arbor Day-Earth Day, with Bellevue park ranger Laura Harper present to accept the proclamation.

    This year, Bellevue is receiving its 28th Tree City USA Award and 26th Growth Award from the National Arbor Day Foundation. Throughout the years, the city has worked to provide educational opportunities that lead to greater environmental awareness and appreciation of the community’s natural resources.

    The proclamation is available to view in the agenda packet materials.

    Published on 04/18/2019