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Edmonds gets much-needed grant for 76th/220th intersection


Last updated 2/28/2019 at Noon

Now that we’ve enjoyed the ease of movement for vehicles at the previously congested 76th Avenue West and 212th Street SW intersection for more than a year, when can we expect the same upgrades at 76th and 220th?

Not soon.

But in the give-and-take world of government grants, there’s some promising news coming from the City of Edmonds, which has secured a $702,000 federal grant and local match of $232,000 to fund the design phase to unclog the intersection.

The project, when completed, will increase the capacity of the intersection by adding dedicated left turn lanes for westbound and eastbound traffic and a right turn lane for southbound vehicles.

This will improve the traffic signal operation and reduce the delay at the intersection, said Edmonds Transportation Engineer Bertrand Hauss.

“That intersection is now working like the 76th and 212th used to work,” Hauss said.

Other improvements will include wider sidewalks, pedestrian curb ramps that meet Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) compliance and improved street lighting and utility upgrades, including potential undergrounding of overhead utility lines within project limits.

In addition, short segments of missing bike lanes will be completed on the north and west sides of the intersection.

That’s all the good news.

The hurry-up-and-wait news is that federal funds will not be available until 2021. That’s because the design and right-of-way phase is expected to take two years, Hauss said. That’s pushing things out to 2023, and the City will still have to find right-of-way funding.

Of course, the search for construction funding comes after that.

“So if we get some other grants along the way while working on design, you’re looking at 2023 or 2024 at the earliest,” Hauss said. “And that’s to start the project.”

So … pack some patience and get used to way things are for the near future.

But wait – there is some good news for 76th and 220th travelers that should speed things up a bit in the near future.

As reported in the Beacon last year, the City signed an agreement with Mountlake Terrace for the installation of an adaptive traffic signal control system, starting west at 76th and continuing up 220th to Interstate 5.

“This is starting in May, and is only a two- to three-month project,” Hauss said. “So by summertime you should notice improvement when going on 220th. Starting at 76th going eastbound, you should be able to go, especially during peak hours, pretty easily.”

Mountlake Terrace is taking the lead on the installation, which will tie signals at six intersections to optimize the flow of traffic, especially during evening peak hours. The hope is to make 220th safer as well as more efficient at moving vehicles.

A Highway Safety Improvement Program grant was secured to fund the traffic signal project, including all of the design phase and 90 percent of the construction phase.

Edmonds has the responsibility to pay the local match share for the one traffic signal in Edmonds, which is 17 percent of the overall cost. The project also includes three Mountlake Terrace intersections and two WSDOT intersections.

The average daily traffic in both directions of this east-west congested corridor is about 27,000 vehicles per day, according to studies.

Other improvements

The grant for 76th and 220th was included in $1.49 million in federal and state transportation grants through Puget Sound Regional Council (PSRC) and the Transportation Improvement Board (TIB) competitive grant programs.

The City of Edmonds’ efforts to implement its Complete Streets program was a key factor in securing the TIB award. Complete Streets is Edmonds’ planning and design of new transportation projects that provide accommodation for all modes of travel, including pedestrians, bicyclists, transit users and those of all abilities.

The City of Edmonds received one of only 12 statewide WSDOT nominations for communities applying for the TIB Complete Streets grant program.

The City also received funds for paving a portion of 76th Avenue West and for completing a missing link of sidewalk on Dayton Street.

The paving involves a new street overlay from 76th from 196th Street SW to Olympic View Drive in Perrinville.

The project also will upgrade noncompliant ADA curb ramps. As the City of Lynnwood extends to the southeast corner of 76th and Olympic View where The Hook restaurant, Mel & Mia’s coffee shop and other business are located, it will fund the overlay on the east side of 76th.

The striping will remain as it is today. It was in 2017 that northbound and southbound bike lanes were added on 76th from 196th all the way to 220th. Sharrows, or shared bike lane markings, will help northbound cyclists – going downhill – to share the lane with on-street parallel parking in order to reduce the chance of a bicyclist slamming into the an open door of a parked vehicle.

The $645,000 federal grant and $428,000 local match will fund design and construction. Federal funds will become available for design in 2021, and construction is planned in 2022, Hauss said.

Finally, the south side Dayton Street sidewalk from Seventh Avenue South to Eighth Avenue South will finally be completed. This project was ranked No. 1 on the short sidewalk project list in the City’s 2015 Transportation Comprehensive Plan, Hauss said.

The sidewalk improvements will be combined with the Dayton Street utility replacement project (Third Avenue South to Ninth Avenue South) that is scheduled to begin this spring. The City is working with TIB on the grant award and the final amount will range from $150,000 to $250,000. The sidewalk is anticipated to be completed by 2020.

That means Dayton will probably turn into Edmonds’ latest traffic nightmare. Traveling alternative east-west streets in the Bowl should be on your radar.

“That might be a good option,” Hauss said. “It’s going to be a long project.”


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