By Diana Barreto
The new year often brings a renewed sense of opportunity and a new chance to invest in improvements. For the Lake Stevens community and Snohomish County drivers, 2019 brings new opportunities to provide input on a new SR 9/SR 204 intersection design. You may be thinking: “Didn’t we already finalize the intersection design?” And the answer is, yes – but we had some challenges to address.
In summer 2017, the SR 9/SR 204 intersection improvements project Stakeholder Advisory Group and the Lake Stevens community reached consensus on a grade-separated intersection design. This design required digging 30 feet into the ground to allow free flow of SR 9 traffic, with no stoplights, below SR 204.
|An upcoming open house will be a great chance to hear about the future of the SR 9/SR 204 intersection in Lake Stevens.|
Building on community consensus, the project team moved into the design phase of the project. They conducted project area surveying that included looking underground at utilities and groundwater levels. The groundwater level turned out to be just nine feet below the surface. This meant that the cost, materials, and overall feasibility of the project needed review as well. The project team reworked the new conditions into the project design and determined that the grade-separated alternative was too costly. Even though the project team included some cost risks into the initial plan process, the updated conditions exceeded those calculated risks.
The project team went to work looking for new solutions that would better fit the budget constraints while also addressing the needs of the community.
Keep your resolutions
Was one of your resolutions to be more involved in your community? If so, mark it off your list by attending our upcoming open house and providing feedback to the project team on the new design.
The open house will take place from 6-8 p.m. on Thursday, Feb, 7 at Cavelero Mid High School in Lake Stevens. A short project presentation will take place at 6:15 p.m. and again at 7:15 p.m. Learn about the project’s progress, the new intersection design, and what to expect as we move forward. **NOTE: The open house has been postponed due to snowy/icy road conditions and will be rescheduled for a later date.
The road ahead
Once we collect and review community feedback from this open house the project team will meet with the Stakeholder Advisory Group. The advisory group will review the feedback and provide additional guidance on the new design. Then the project team will begin final design work ahead of construction.
Construction to add a lane on southbound SR 9, south of Market Place Northeast, will begin this spring. This construction is a small part of the overall project.
Funded by the 2015 Connecting Washington funding package, we sought practical solutions to improve congestion at the SR 9/SR 204 intersection. Since 2016, the SR 9/SR 204 intersection improvements project Stakeholder Advisory Group and the Lake Stevens community provided input and guidance on design options aimed at creating better connections for all roadway users of this intersection, including pedestrians, transit riders, bicyclists and drivers.