Auburn City Hall. FILE PHOTO

Auburn City Hall. FILE PHOTO

City, school district reach deal on intersection upgrades

A traffic impact analysis related to construction of the Auburn School District’s 16th elementary school recently determined it would create problems for the intersection of 124th Avenue Southeast and Southeast 316th Street.

The city and school district have developed a joint plan to mitigate the impacts by adding the needed improvements to a raft of city pedestrian safety sidewalk and ADA upgrades already slated to get underway this summer.

On Monday, the Auburn City Council authorized Mayor Nancy Backus to execute an agreement with the school district to make it happen.

City officials say that adding the intersection improvements to the project will allow it to design and construct them alongside other improvements, and that should result in a lower cost to the district compared to building the required intersection improvements separately.

In the agreement, the school district agrees to reimburse the city a maximum $85,000 for direct and related indirect costs to complete the work, a sum that includes $10,000 as a contingency to address changes and unexpected conditions.

In addition to the district funds, the city is working with King County Metro to secure funding for part of the improvements. Although Metro has indicated it may contribute up to $50,000, it has yet to formally commit to that.

Auburn’s project builds sidewalk and curb ramps, and also makes crosswalk enhancements with rapid rectangular flashing beacons at several places throughout the city. Likewise, the required mitigation improvements at the intersection include new sidewalk, curb ramps and the enhancement of a crosswalk with the flashing beacons.

In other council action

The city council also authorized an interlocal agreement with King County Metro and Pierce Transit for Transit Route 497.

In November 2008, King County Metro, Pierce Transit and the City of Auburn signed a transit service financial agreement to provide commute alternatives to Pierce County residents who work in King County. Route 497 started service in 2009.

Although King County Metro had a funding mechanism for this service, it was later cancelled, so a new funding mechanism was put in place. As the original transit service agreement expires this September, a new TSFA must replace it.

The city budget for this is $200,000 for 2020. The city will fold that amount into the 2021 and 2022 budgets. Actual costs of service are about $45,000 per quarter. The cost of service is expected to rise by 3 percent annually.

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