Auburn summer construction projects in the works

If you plan to visit Game Farm Park or Game Farm Wilderness Park in south Auburn this summer, keep your eyes open.

The city is about to put a bridge in there to connect these popular parks — one important part of the overall Coal Creek Springs Transmission Main Replacement Project.

And it’s got city officials pumped up.

“This connection of the two parks as well as the water line is such an awesome project great cooperation between departments,” said Auburn Parks, Arts and Recreation Director Daryl Faber.

As Auburn’s largest water source, Coal Creek Springs’s 24-inch water main has carried water from the springs to the city’s treatment and storage facilities on the north side of the Green River for generations. But at 100 years of age, the main under the White River near Game Farm and Game Farm Wilderness parks has reached the end of its useful life — and engineers fear it could fail.

The city’s solution is to build a utility bridge across the White River, with a pedestrian walkway on top, and then attach the new water main under the walkway. Work will also extend the existing paved trail systems in Game Farm Park and Game Farm Wilderness Park to connect to the bridge, which will provide for future utility connections across the White River.

Numerous alternatives were considered, among them: drilling underneath the river; digging a trench through the river bottom; and lining the existing pipe. The city, however, considered the bridge the most viable option and coordinated with numerous government agencies to minimize environmental impacts.

According to the city, careful planning has designed this project to minimize impacts to the river and shoreline by planting new trees and native vegetation in affected areas. The city will also plant large trees alongside the river for fish habitat.

Funding for the $5,315,176 project draws from the city’s parks fund, its water fund, and a loan from the state’s Drinking Water Revolving Fund.

It is one of 37 projects the city has on the boards this summer, which include:

Lake Tapps Parkway and Sumner-Tapps Highway preservation project: This will replace the top 2 inches of asphalt on Lake Tapps Parkway and Sumner-Tapps Highway from Lakeland Hills Way to the city limits at 16th Street East.

A Street Loop: This project will build a one-way, eastbound, roadway connection between South Division Street and A Street Southeast. The city expects to wrap up construction this summer.

D Street Southeast and 23rd Street Southeast storm improvements: This project is meant to eliminate areas of localized flooding and make better use of available capacity in the regional infiltration storm pond at 21st Street Southeast. It will also improve water and sewer utility infrastructure, restore existing roadway pavement, and replace the section of gravel roadway on D Street Southeast between and 25th Street Southeast with asphalt pavement.

R Street Southeast preservation: This project will replace the top 2 inches of roadway from 33rd Street to 37th Street Southeast, paint the roadway to include a center turn lane, and install more street lighting, a non-motorized shared-used path and other underground utility improvements. The city anticipates breaking ground this spring and continuing construction through the summer months.

C Street preservation: This project will patch and replace roadway surface pavement on C Street Southwest between West Main Street and the GSA site, and make other improvements to water, storm, and sewer utilities within the project area.

Regional Growth Center access improvements: This work will focus on the 3rd Street and 4th Street Northeast corridor between Auburn Avenue and Auburn Way, effecting improvements to traffic operations and circulation, stormwater, traffic signals and street lighting.

Garden Avenue realignment: The last project here will build an east-west connection between 102nd Avenue Southeast (Garden Avenue) and 104th Avenue Southeast. It will eliminate the existing Garden Avenue connection to 8th Street Northeast and replace it with a permanent cul-de-sac. Utility improvements include storm drainage needed to support the roadway surface and new water and sewer mains.