A conceptual rendering of what the West Sammamish Bridge may look like after the construction’s estimated completion in 2022. <em>Courtesy of the City of Kenmore</em>

A conceptual rendering of what the West Sammamish Bridge may look like after the construction’s estimated completion in 2022. Courtesy of the City of Kenmore

Kenmore finds funds for West Sammamish Bridge

The city has secured $28 million in total grants to fund the West Sammamish Bridge Replacement Project.

Kenmore recently secured $28 million in total grants to fund the West Sammamish Bridge Replacement Project, which is currently being designed and scheduled to break ground in early 2019.

The project will replace the southbound bridge that was built in 1938 and has had weight restrictions since 2014. The northbound bridge will remain and the overall project will also expand the pedestrian walkways and establish bike lanes from Northeast 170th Street to Northeast 175th Street.

“We’ve monitored it and made sure its safe, but it needs to be replaced,” said Kenmore Mayor David Baker.

Baker added that they’re also building a viewing platform in the center of the bridge for people to look out over the water and enjoy the hydroplane races in the spring.

According to John Vicente, the city’s capital projects manager, the biggest benefits beyond roadway safety will be the non-motorized access through the new bike lanes and wider sidewalk that will be compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act.

RESTRICTIONS

King County inspected the bridge and gave it a 6.4 rating out of 100 after the city noticed deterioration in 2013. Vicente said this is similar to a test score and while the bridge failed badly, it remains safe to operate.

“We need to replace it as soon as we can before we need to add more restrictions,” he said. “If it’s not replaced, then it’ll be forced to close.”

The $28 million in grant funds covers most of the estimated $31.7 3million project costs. The city hopes to continue to lower the local contribution but expects it to end up around 10 percent of the total costs or about $3 million.

The revenue sources for matching funds are listed below.

Kenmore local funds: $3.76 million

Connecting Washington (state): $8 million

Bridge Advisory Committee (federal): $12 million

Surface Transportation Program (federal): $1.06 million

Transportation Improvement Board (state): $6.9 million

The total comes to $31.73 million.

“We’ve managed to get a lot of different grant money and have almost the whole project funded,” Baker said. “The train is running and it’s a little too late to stop it, so it’s going to be done.”

Currently, the 80-year-old bridge prohibits travel for three-axle vehicles weighing more than 16 tons, five axles more than 25 tons and seven axles more than 27 tons. These restrictions only apply to the southbound bridge, the northbound bridge is in much better condition, according to Vicente, as it was built in the 1970s.

IMPACTS

The project has been in the design phase since 2015 and city staff expect to finalize plans this fall. Vicente said they hope to begin demolition and construction in the first quarter of 2019 and expect the build to take about three years.

Construction will unfortunately cause unpredictable and periodic closures that will depend on demolition work and material transportation, he said.

City Manager, Rob Karlinsey said they’ll occasionally keep all four lanes open but he doesn’t want to get hopes up.

“It’s already a congested area and it’s going to get worse,” he said.

Vicente added, “It’s going to have a big impact. Traffic is not going to feel like it does today, it’s definitely going to be noticeable and unavoidable, (but) we’ll do whatever we can to minimize it.”

More in News

Suspect spray-paints ‘Strange’ onto Panera Bread | Police blotter

The Bothell police blotter for Oct. 7 through 13.

Metro revises timeline for RapidRide bus expansion

After originally aiming to build 20 additional fast-service bus lines on high demand routes by 2040, King County Metro has changed its construction timelines and put 13 of those projects on hold.

Bothell man charged with insurance fraud

The man was charged after an investigation by the Insurance Commissioner’s Office.

Bothell, Kenmore look at preliminary budgets for next two years

Both are facing challenges with rising costs and insufficient revenues.

Across the state there are 20 cities with more than 15,000 residents that require recycling services. Of these, all but two are in King County, with the remaining two residing in Snohomish County. File photo
Recycling audit shows higher use but increased cost

Cities with embedded recycling service increase rates to cover costs of “free” service

Rape allegation against Sen. Joe Fain divides King County Council

In a recent interview, Councilmember Kathy Lambert blamed Fain’s accuser for the alleged rape. Then Lambert’s colleagues distanced themselves from her comments.

Paul Allen, shown in 2015. Courtesy of the Herald
Paul Allen dead at 65

Microsoft co-founder, developer, and philanthropist struggled with cancer for decades

Assault accusations conflict at Bothell Health Care | Police blotter

The Bothell police blotter for Oct. 2 through Oct. 4.

State Supreme Court strikes down death penalty

All nine justices found the use of capital punishment in Washington state unconstitutional and racially biased.

Most Read