Road construction season has kicked off in earnest, led by the city’s annual repaving effort.
This year, approximately 40 lane miles of roadway are scheduled for resurfacing around the city, which includes work carried over from last year. The historical average is around 20 lane miles per year.
In the Eastgate area, contractor Watson Asphalt Paving already has resumed projects it began in 2018. In a few weeks, Lakeside Industries is anticipated to begin improvements programmed for 2019, mostly in north Bellevue.
In addition to restoring smooth roadway surfaces, other improvements will include:
- Curb ramps: Crews will replace 69 older curb ramps and construct six new curb ramps, making it easier for people with disabilities to get around.
- Sidewalks: Approximately 2,500 linear feet of sidewalk in poor condition will be rebuilt in the Tam O’Shanter neighborhood.
- Bike lanes: More than 3.2 lane miles of new bike lanes will be added by restriping pavement after the repaving work is complete, a low-cost way to expand the city’s bicycle network. Another 1.3 lane miles of bike lanes will be enhanced by striping a buffer space between vehicle and bike lanes. These improvements are partially funded by the 2016 Neighborhood Safety, Connectivity and Congestion Levy.
- What to expect: If your street is scheduled for repaving, you will be notified by signs along the roadway, as well as by door hangers when work is about to occur.
Now in its 33rd year, the Pavement and Bridge Management Program (formerly called the Overlay Program) uses biennial pavement condition surveys and analysis systems to prioritize which streets and sidewalks should be repaved in a given year.
This strategy saves money in the long run by avoiding the need for a complete roadway reconstruction, which can cost several times more than repaving. The program’s yearly budget, typically in the $5 to $7 million range, also covers bridge inspections and maintenance.
Since 1990, more than 790 lane miles of roadway have been repaired or resurfaced as part of the program. Throughout the city, there are approximately 1,100 lane miles of asphalt roads.