By Katie Murdoch For The Herald
MOUNTLAKE TERRACE — The city plans to design and construct some road projects in 2011 and 2012, but will also postpone or scale back others due to the sluggish economy.
The Mountlake Terrace City Council unanimously approved its transportation plan at a meeting earlier this month. Councilwoman Kyoko Matsumoto Wright was absent for the vote.
Top projects include:
•Building a sidewalk in 2011 along 222nd Street Southwest between 39th and 44th avenues with help from a $200,000 community development block grant.
Designing and constructing Lakeview Trail in 2011-12 with help from federal funding, which would stretch from the Interurban Trail to the Transit Center.
Reconstructing 56th Avenue W. by improving curbs and adding on-street parking with design work beginning in 2013.
Projects identified in the plan are funded through the city’s fund balance, grants, bonds and funding partnerships. Within the last two years, staff has accumulated $5 million in federal and state funding for capital improvement projects.
Engineering services director Willem Van Ry said the downward economy means postponing core programs that were scheduled for 2013 and 2014 and bringing some of them back in 2015 and 2016 as well as relying more heavily on acquiring grants. These delayed projects include:
Reconstructing 244th Street SW with the design phase slated to start in 2015. The project will be funded through state and federal grants.
Installing traffic signals and signs at specific intersections, including 220th and 58th streets and 212th and 48th streets, as early as 2013. These projects will be paid for through traffic impact fees.
Van Ry said the city will see the full impact of diminished revenues in 2013 and 2014 when most of the city’s core programs will be eliminated. For example, staff has eliminated funding for traffic calming devices for 2013 and 2014, but expect to resume allocating money for these projects in 2015. Additionally, work on connecting sidewalks will halt in 2013 and pick up again in 2014. Installing ramps that are compliant with the federal American Disabilities Act standards won’t see funding in 2014.
“During the economic downturn we’ve had to reduce the scope of projects compared to 2009 and before,” he said.
Mayor Pro Tem Laura Sonmore appreciated the plan’s simplicity.
“What you see is what we can afford,” Sonmore said.
Councilman John Zambrano applauded staff for making Mountlake Terrace a more pedestrian-friendly community.
Zambrano said there’s a phenomenal amount of sidewalks in Mountlake Terrace offering flat surfaces for residents to walk on for years to come.
“I have been amazed at the amount of sidewalks improved in the last three years,” he said. “I don’t know if residents know how aggressively we’ve been improving sidewalks in front of their houses.”