The City of Kenmore is taking a firm stance on not allowing additional work on the State Route 520 bridge project to be done within city limits.
“We did our share with the 520 bridge,” Kenmore Mayor David Baker said. “For ‘The Rest of the West,’ they need to go elsewhere.”
“The Rest of the West” refers to the part of SR 520 that connects Interstate 5 to Lake Washington. Some residents raised concerns at the Dec. 12 Kenmore City Council meeting that portions of this work would be done within city limits.
For earlier phases of the SR 520 project, pieces of the old demolished bridge have been trucked through Kenmore, and residents raised concerns about the levels of arsenic in the demolished concrete.
Since Dec. 12, the city has taken action in preventing “The Rest of the West” from coming to Kenmore. The council held a special meeting Dec. 27 to amend an extension to an agreement with the businesses looking to develop the Lakepointe site in Kenmore. The project, which is currently in the planning stage, would be a mixed-use development of 45 acres on Lake Washington where the Sammamish River enters the lake, just east of the Kenmore Air Harbor Seaplane terminal. (More information about the Lakepointe project, which has been discussed since 1989, can be found online at www.kenmorewa.gov/lakepointe.)
The initial extension of the Lakepointe Commercial Site Development Permit (CSDP) and Transportation Mitigation Agreement (TMA) was approved by council at its Dec. 12 meeting, but after Kenmore City Manager Rob Karlinsey met with Lakepointe representatives, an amendment was added to ensure no SR 520 bridge work would happen on the site.
“I’m grateful to them for being flexible on this,” Karlinsey said of the companies affiliated with the Lakepointe project.
The paragraph reads, “Furthermore, Lakepointe, Pioneer (Towing Company, the property owner) and Weidner (Apartment Homes, the potential developer) agree to not allow future SR 520 bridge work pertaining to ‘The Rest of the West’ (Interstate 5 to Lake Washington) to occur on the Lakepointe site as long as the CSDP is still active and approved. For purposes of this paragraph, ‘bridge work’ pertains to construction, fabrication, staging, storage, equipment and material transport, barging, trucking and demolition work. This condition only applies to SR 520 ‘Rest of the West’ work and has been voluntarily agreed to by Lakepointe, Pioneer and Weidner. This condition shall not be construed to waive or limit, or set a precedent for waiver or limitation of, other uses to which the property may be legally put.”
The city council unanimously approved the addition of that paragraph to the Lakepointe agreement.
People for an Environmentally Responsible Kenmore (PERK) President Elizabeth Mooney, who also spoke at the Dec. 12 meeting, was appreciative of the council’s action on Dec. 27. “Thank you for … fixing language to keep us safe,” she said.