This area also happens to be the center of gravity for much of the county's recent new home construction.
The largest of the major county road projects planned in the area involves upgrading the intersection of 35th Avenue SE and 180th Street SE.
"They're going to add some turn lanes and expand the intersection," said Bruce DuVall, the county's engineering services director. "It's to get traffic to move more efficiently."
A right-turn lane will be added to all legs of the intersection. Other upgrades are a new traffic signal, curbs, gutters and sidewalks.
The county last month approved a $2.4 million bid for the work from SCI Infrastructure of Seattle. Construction is expected to start late this month and wrap up in spring 2013. Expect single-lane closures during that time.
A second project about a mile and a half to the east will remake the intersection of 180th Street SE and Interurban Boulevard. At that location, Interurban Boulevard and W. Interurban Boulevard connect to the north side of 180th Street SE only 125 feet apart. The work aims to separate those intersections. The Public Works Department hosted a public meeting in 2009 seeking input on potential fixes.
The upcoming work will follow through with the public's preferred option of closing W. Interurban Boulevard at 180th Street SE and adding a new north-south road nearby at 59th Avenue SE. That work is expected to cost $2.3 million, DuVall said. A $500,000 federal grant obtained with help from the Puget Sound Regional Council is helping to pay for the work.
Construction is planned to begin this fall and continue through next year. Expect single-lane closures and heavy truck traffic while work is ongoing.
Back on 35th Avenue SE, a third project has been under way since May to connect Grannis Road to the arterial at a right angle. The new intersection is about 270 feet to the south of the old one.
The current angle is skewed where Grannis Road meets 35th Avenue SE across from 188th Street SE.
"It's kind of a funny intersection that doesn't handle traffic very efficiently," DuVall said.
The $1.2 million realignment project is designed to improve safety and traffic flow. It also includes installing stormwater ponds.
The work will add new traffic signals on 35th Avenue SE both at Grannis Road and at 188th Street SE. Crews plan to remove part of Grannis Road.
The Grannis Road work is planned to last through the end of the year, with perhaps some paving waiting until warmer weather next spring. It's expected to cause lane closures.
More information: www.snoco.org and search for "roads central."
Noah Haglund: 425-339-3465, firstname.lastname@example.org.
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