Kirkland’s capital improvement program is in the midst of designing, building and completing projects that are improving the city. A digest of those projects is included below:
Kirklanders will get their first chance on July 6 to observe how cars, pedestrians and cyclists will share Park Lane’s curbless, brick-lined surface. That’s when the renewed street re-opens to drivers. The general contractor will finish its last task—replacing Park Lane’s street lights and hanging a canopy of string lighting—shortly thereafter. In the meantime, Kirkland’s shoppers, diners, pedestrians and cyclists continue to enjoy Park Lane’s brick-lined streetscape. The west block opened to foot and bicycle traffic May 29.
STREET PRESERVATION (repaving)
A contracted work crew is now improving wheelchair access to sidewalks along seven of Kirkland’s arterials. Trinity Construction is currently rebuilding the wheelchair ramps at crosswalks along Bridle Trail’s Northeast 60th Street. Later in the summer, Trinity will improve wheelchair access along 116th, 124th and 132nd avenues northeast and Seventh Street South. It finished earlier in June rebuilding curb ramps along Kingsgate’s Northeast 144th and 143rd streets northeast, as well as Finn Hill’s Northeast 141st Street. These improvements prepare the seven arterials for repaving, which Kirkland’s overlay contractor will perform, starting in July. The seven arterials Kirkland will repave this summer are as follows:
- Finn Hill’s 141st, from Juanita Drive to Northeast 84th Street
- Kingsgates 144th and 143rd, from 132nd Avenue Northeast to the City’s limits
- North Rose Hill’s seven-block section of 132nd Avenue Northeast, from Northeast 113th to 120 Street, which borders Lake Washington Institute of Technology and 124th Avenue Northeast from Northeast 100th Street to Northeast 108th Place
- The Highlands’ 116th Avenue Northeast, from Northeast 87th Street to Northeast 95th Street
- Bridle Trails’ Northeast 60th Street, from Ben Franklin Elementary to 132nd Avenue Northeast
- Moss Bay’s Seventh Avenue South, from Fifth Place South to State Street
Residents in North Rose Hill, North Juanita and Kingsgate are now planning ahead for an eight-hour process that will extend the lives of their neighborhood roads by five to 10 years. Kirkland’s contractor will apply the street-saving slurry seal late July or early August to roughly 30 lane miles of neighborhood roads. The process requires residents to keep their vehicles off the roads for eight hours.
Construction will begin in late summer on a quarter-mile of sidewalk that will connect First Avenue South to Google’s campus. Project Engineer Aparna Khanal expects work crews to complete the sidewalk by the end of the year.
Later in the year, contractors will begin installing a pair of traffic signals at Sixth Street’s intersections with Ninth Avenue South and Kirkland Way. At Kirkland Way, the City will reconfigure the intersection to accommodate buses’ wide left-hand turns and rebuild it with concrete to withstand buses’ heavy loads. That intersection improvement, as well as the traffic signal at Ninth Avenue South could be done early next summer.
FORBES CREEK BRIDGE
The Juanita Bay causeway and Forbes Creek Bridge will remain open this summer while construction crews retrofit the Forbes Creek Bridge to handle small-scale earthquakes. On four nights late this summer, crews will have to detour automobiles around the bridge. Those detours will begin at 8 p.m. and continue until 5 a.m. People traveling by bike or by foot will continue to have access.
NORTHEAST 85th STREET (Rose Hill Gateway)
The City Council voted unanimously June 16 to cut 50 days of paving down to 30 nights of paving on Kirkland’s busiest arterial. The decision to pave at night will improve customer access to scores of businesses along what is one of Kirkland’s most important economic corridors. And it will improves traffic flow along the City’s busiest arterial. It achieves this by shifting much of the repaving work to a time when most of the 44,000 automobiles that travel daily along Northeast 85th Street are not on the road.
To protect 85th Street-area residents, who live east of 126th Avenue Northeast, Kirkland’s paving contractor will perform the loudest parts of the job during the day. That entails a process known as ‘lowering iron’—removing the lids of manhole covers and storm drains.
Paving would likely begin in September.
FOURTH STREET WATER MAIN
Design finished last week on a project to replace the 66-year-old water main beneath Fourth Street, between 15th and 18th Avenues. The new eight-inch water main will increase the system’s capacity and ensure a reliable delivery source for potable water. Project staff expects construction to begin in August and to continue through September. During construction, crews will keep at least one travel lane open.
Kirkland’s striping contractor is halfway through its work to improve the visibility of the City’s street markings. That work will likely be complete in July. This includes bike lanes, fog lines, numerous thermoplastic crosswalks and other on-pavement symbols.
INTELLIGENT TRANSPORTATION SYSTEMS
The City begins in July upgrading 17 traffic signals along parts of Kirkland’s most traveled east-to-west and north-to-south corridors. The upgrade uses fiber optics and Intelligent Transportation Systems technology to connect all 17 traffic signals to each other and to the City’s Traffic Management Center. From the Transportation Management Center in City Hall, Kirkland’s transportation engineers can then analyze real-time traffic flow and, when necessary to reduce chronic congestion, adjust traffic signals’ timing.
The work will require contracted work crews to take off-line the first eight traffic signals for one day each week over a span of eight weeks. On those eight days, uniformed police officers will control traffic through the respective intersections from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m.
ROSE POINT SEWER LIFT STATION
Design consultants are surveying the Market neighborhood’s Rose Point for a replacement to the five-decade-old sewage lift station. The survey will help the project team decide where the new lift station will go. The project team expects to finish the design by winter.