Last week, the city broke ground to extend the road about a quarter of a mile north to connect to U.S. 2. Once that is done, the city can close the portion of Cascade View Drive that connects with the highway.
The idea is to funnel traffic along Sultan Basin Road up to U.S. 2 where a stoplight exists, city officials said. The $2.8 million project aims to increase safety and bring more economic development to the area.
The extended Sultan Basin Road should help semi trucks get on and off U.S. 2. To the south of the area, there's a 20-business industrial park. The area includes the fire department and homes of about 150 people.
The roads in the area also can be confusing. Last month, a truck driver took a wrong turn and tipped over. He was carrying material for Koppenberg Enterprises Inc., which builds columbariums, the vaults for ashes at cemeteries.
The company's president, Kim Koppenberg, said this has been the biggest incident at the road in the 2 1/2 years he's been there. He has not seen any major accidents take place, but has seen many close calls on U.S. 2.
He's happy about the project. He describes the current intersection with the highway as very risky.
"If it's dangerous for you, it's going to be much more for a truck driver and our employees," Koppenberg said.
The city started looking to make changes at the road since 1997. The project was divided in different phases. It got enough funds to realign the north side of Sultan Basin Road with U.S. 2 and install a traffic light in 2006.
It took time for the rest of the project to proceed as the city waited for money to complete the design and construction of the next phases.
The city got the remaining $240,000 needed from the State Transportation Improvement Board in late June, said city administrator Deborah Knight. There also was federal funding available for the project. The city plans to spend $104,000 from different capital funds for this project as well.
The City Council approved giving the contract to Scarsella Brothers Inc. from Kent at its June 30 meeting.
Construction is scheduled to last until the end of the year depending on the weather. Partial lane closures are planned, but U.S. 2 traffic should not be affected, Knight said.
Alejandro Dominguez: 425-339-3422; email@example.com.
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