Federal Way has five road construction projects taking place throughout the city, all of which will be completed at separate times.
Although inconvenient for drivers, these construction projects are happening at the same time for one simple reason: weather.
“The primary reason construction occurs at the same time is that construction generally takes place during the dry parts of the year,” Deputy Public Works Director/Street Systems Manager Desiree Winkler said in an email.
“Much of what is done cannot be done when it is wet. This is especially true for any type of asphalt pavement work.”
The locations under construction are South 356th Street, 21st Avenue South, South 359th to South 340th Street, 23rd Avenue South to the Steel Lake Park entrance and an asphalt overlay program that is occurring in multiple different areas.
The asphalt overlay program includes completing asphalt patch repairs, grinding pavement and overlaying the roads with new thick hot-mix asphalt. Along with this, upgrades are being made to sidewalk curb ramps to meet the current Americans with Disabilities Act standards. This project is scheduled to be finished by Aug. 30. The cost is $1.6 million.
“[Federal requirements state] that anytime you are doing an overlay program, you need to bring the ADA ramps up to standard. This project is not to update the ramps, but it is a requirement,” Public Works Director Marwan Salloum said.
From South 359th to South 340th Street on Pacific Highway, Federal Way is widening the HOV lanes in each direction.
Workers are also adding planter strips, fixing the street lighting, modifying the traffic signals and upgrading the main line in the city’s water supply system.
This project began on Sept. 1, 2016, and should not be finished until summer of 2018. The total cost of the project is $27 million, with federal and state grants paying for $15.6 million of it.
The other funding is coming from sources such as Lakehaven Water and Sewer District, street capital, surface capital, private utilities and developer impact fees.
“This project requires day and night shifts. If you are driving through Pacific Highway, you will see contractors working at both times. We will be working on this through fall and hopefully winter, as well,” Salloum said.
At 21st Avenue South, the city is focusing on pedestrian improvements, including filling the missing gap of a sidewalk between South 320th Street and South 316th Street, as well as fixing street lighting and landscaping.
The project costs $1.5 million. It is set to finish in September.
“The project is all done, and the sidewalk is in place,” Salloum said. “The only thing left to do is get the street light fixed, but we will not be getting the parts until September. If you drive by that area right now there won’t be any construction.”
In between Pacific Highway and Enchanted Parkway, the street is being widened to provide a five-lane roadway.
The project also includes adding bike lane, curbs, gutters, street lights and planter strips.
Lakehaven Water and Sewer is also participating to have the water mains upgraded.
This project costs $6.2 million and is set to finish sometime in August.
The final road project is by Steel Lake, where curbs, gutters, sidewalks, planter strips and street lighting are being installed along the south side of South 312th between 23rd Avenue South and the entrance to Steel Lake Park.
This project should be finished by October, costing a total of $1 million, with $300,000 being paid by the Connecting Washington Grant and $700,000 from Federal Way’s street capital funding.