Grant to fund full intersection at Highway 99 trouble spot

EDMONDS — For drivers who have to dart across Highway 99 to make a left turn onto 76th Avenue W., help is on the way.

The city of Edmonds has been awarded a grant to build a new road to connect Highway 99 to a current dead end on 228th Street SW. On the west side of Highway 99, 228th connects. But on the east side it stops short of the highway at 76th.

A vacant, unused stretch of city right-of-way about 300 feet long sits between 76th and Highway 99. The project will involve building a road across this section to a full intersection, with stoplights on 228th Street SW at Highway 99 and at 76th, city engineer Rob English said.

The new intersections will enable the city to close the left-turn lane from southbound Highway 99 to 76th, where drivers now have to wait for an opening without the aid of a signal. It also will make for an easier connection for many drivers headed to I-5 and the Mountlake Terrace park-and-ride center. East of Highway 99, 228th curves and becomes Lakeview Drive and 236th Street SW, connecting to I-5 and the park-and-ride.

The area to be altered now has a high accident rate, English said. When the new road is built, southbound Highway 99 drivers wishing to reach that portion of 76th will go to the controlled intersection at 228th, and then turn left.

Northbound highway drivers may turn right onto 228th rather than having to turn earlier or later. Drivers on 228th headed toward Highway 99 from the east may proceed directly to the highway rather than having to skirt around the dead-end. Those headed toward the highway from the west may go straight across if they wish rather than having to turn left or right.

Construction is expected to begin next summer and conclude in the second half of 2015, English said.

The $6.7 million project is financed in large part by state and federal grants, he said. The latest piece is $1.7 million from the state Transportation Improvement Board, part of a recent $111 million allocation to 103 cities and counties.

The city of Edmonds is on the hook for only about $191,000 of the $6.7 million total, English said.

Bike lanes and sidewalks will be part of the new section of 228th Street SW.

Bill Sheets: 425-339-3439; sheets@heraldnet.com.

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