Improvements to Key Downtown Kirkland Intersection Reaches Major Milestone in Mid July
Within the next two weeks, the key downtown Kirkland intersection at Central Way and 6th Street will be free of traffic cones and barriers. Construction activity to complete the final concrete pour and install the remaining sidewalks is expected to wrap up soon making the intersection fully operational by the week of July 11. There will be work in and around the roadway with minimal traffic impacts through the end of July.
As early as mid-July, pedestrians will start enjoying new sidewalks, better visibility, and pedestrian connections at all corners, including a trail connection along 85th Street that leads to the railroad corridor and beyond. Crossing the intersection will be easier because of the latest Americans with Disability Act (ADA) pedestrian crossing technologies. The aging water, electrical, storm water and fiber optic infrastructure was upgraded to accommodate the future Kirkland Parkplace redevelopment. The roadway surface will have a longer life thanks to asphalt pavement being replaced with concrete. New energy efficient street lights and signals will improve both the aesthetics and operations of the intersection.
The intersection improvements are part of the Downtown Strategic Plan developed through a collaborative effort with over thirty local business owners, residents, community leaders, planning experts and elected officials. The City received a $2 million State of Washington Community Trade and Economic Development grant to implement the first Phase of the Central Way and 6th Street gateway plan. This Phase was designed and constructed to be compatible with future improvements to 6th Street that will occur with the redevelopment of Kirkland Parkplace. The redevelopment plans include the addition of one southbound lane on 6th Street between Central Way and 4thAvenue that currently does not exist. The City has planned ahead for this new lane. Once this southbound lane is built, a second left turn from Central Way will be opened where the landscaped median is now being installed. By proactively building the second turn lane in the current project, the City will save money and avoid tearing up the intersection in the future. Current residents will enjoy a landscaped entrance to downtown in the meantime.
Downtown Kirkland has had its share of major capital improvements in recent years and takes pride in its first-class Transit Center, improved Library, and soon-to-be enhanced gateway intersection at Central Way and 6th Street.