- In 2021, the City of Bellevue conducted community outreach to determine how to best improve fire flow and serve the community. The project team studied numerous design options and has identified a preferred alternative: a new water main along SE 49th St between 151st Avenue SE and Highland Drive. This is the first part of a multi-phase program to increase the fire flow of a section of the Somerset Highlands neighborhood.
- Design work on the alternative began in 2024 and will continue through 2025. Construction is anticipated to begin in mid-2025 and be completed within six months.
- Access to some private property may be required during design and construction. The city will coordinate with private property owners for rights-of-entry and notices in advance if required.
Why is this project needed?
The City of Bellevue is pursuing this project to improve fire flow in the Somerset Highlands neighborhood. During a fire, the Fire Department relies on the water system to deliver flow to hydrants. “Fire flow” refers to the volume of water that can flow from a hydrant without losing too much pressure.
The City continuously evaluates its water system for opportunities to improve water service, including flow, pressure, and reliability. Because of the steep topography in the project area, the water system relies on a series of pumps to bring the water up the hill, creating different pressure “zones” based on local elevation. Water pressure and fire flow can vary throughout each of these zones. The City is working systematically to make these improvements so that all customers have the same minimum level of service.
Where is the project located?
The project will construct a new 12-inch ductile iron water main on SE 49th Street, between Highland Drive on the west side and 151st Ave SE on the east side. An 8-inch and 4-inch ductile iron water main will be installed on Highland Drive, between SE 47th Street on the north and SE 49th Street on the south. Additionally, individual pressure-reducing valves will have to be installed on select properties on the hillside adjacent to the west of Highland Drive. Each of the properties shown in the location map need to be individually inspected to confirm if a pressure-reducing valve is required.
The project will complete design and permitting in early 2025. Construction is expected to begin in mid-2025 and be completed within six months.
- 2025: Final Design
- Early 2025: Complete design and permitting; project goes to bid for construction
- Summer 2025: Construction begins
- Winter 2025: Construction ends
The city is working to engage and notify residents who may be impacted by this project, to understand and support community needs to the extent possible. We will continue gathering input throughout this project.
Online Open House:
In July of 2021, the city held an online open house sharing and collecting input on proposed design alternatives. The results of the analysis can be found: