City, WSDOT to improve intersection

In 2018 the Washington State Department of Transportation expects to get rolling on a pavement preservation project on Auburn Way South, from Highway 18 to 17th Street Southeast.

On Monday the Auburn City Council authorized Mayor Nancy Backus to execute an agreement between the City and WSDOT that will have the City pay for improvements to the intersection at 12th Street Southeast that are in WSDOT’s construction contract but outside its ownership and financial responsibility.

The estimated cost to the city for the improvements is $198,899.79, and it has budgeted $200,000 for this purpose in 2017. Additionally, the agreement authorizes up to 10 percent in construction contingencies in the event of unexpected conditions or changes, in which case additional funds may be needed in 2018 when work gets underway.

And here’s what Auburn residents get for the buck: re-construction of the intersection’s islands: ADA ramps and pedestrian push buttons; revision of the pedestrian crossing locations; restriping of 12th Street Southeaast to create left-turn pockets; and continuing bike lanes through the intersection.

Overall, WSDOT’s project calls for full-depth pavement patches where needed, removal and replacement of surface pavement, replacement of curb and gutter where needed, and upgrading of pedestrian curb ramps at intersections to improve accessibility.

City leaders say that including the improvements within the WSDOT construction contract should reduce the overall construction impacts to the traveling public and be more cost effective than the City producing a separate construction contract for them.

Additionally, the City would not be able to complete the work before WSDOT’s construction occurs, and the brand-new roadway surface WSDOT installs would then have to be cut and patched, said City Engineer Ingrid Gaub.

“When WSDOT came forward last year with the intent to pave the roadway, we saw an opportunity to partner with them to have them do the improvements, along with the paving work that they were doing, which actually saves us money in not having to do the pavement overlay work at the same time,” Gaub said.

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