City of Edmonds infrastructure update

Phil Williams
Phil Williams

This submission is the latest in a series of guest columns on city issues, provided by Edmonds Mayor Dave Earling’s office.

Spring is nearly here! That makes this a good time to update our citizens on infrastructure projects under construction in 2014.

City-Wide Pavement Preservation Program – Edmonds will be paving and chip-sealing in several locations this summer after several years without having a pavement preservation program. We will be building nearly 8,000 feet of new chip-seal surfacing on 2nd Ave. North, 72nd Ave. West, and 73rd Ave. West. We will also be grinding and overlaying 100th Ave. West from SR104 to 238th (+/- 3,000 ft.). In addition we will retain approximately $260,000 out of the $1.2 million made available for pavement preservation in the 2014 budget to serve as matching monies for a federal grant to pave 220th from 84th to 76th in 2015. There will also be five smaller paving projects, totaling 1,300 feet, where water line replacements have damaged our street surfaces.

This is the first time in many years that Edmonds has been able to address its deteriorating streets proactively. An ongoing, predictable, source of revenue needs to be identified for this program. Our street system is too important to be left unfunded during difficult budget years.

Five Corners roundabout – This project will install a modern roundabout at Five Corners to shorten traffic delays, improve pedestrian safety, remove overhead power lines, and improve the aesthetics and streetscape appeal in this critically important intersection. New water lines as well as new stormwater catch basins and detention vaults will also be installed. PSE is already on site relocating their gas lines and the construction project is currently advertised for bid. We expect full construction to begin in May and extend through October. Estimated construction cost is $3.0 million, paid for by a combination of federal grants, water and stormwater utility revenues as well as $300,000 in traffic impact fees collected from new development.

Water and Sewer Main Replacements – We will be busy this year replacing old water and sewer mains. Projects are planned in 19 separate locations throughout the city totaling over 6,500 feet of new sewer main and 9,000 feet of new water main. The total cost of these improvements is estimated to be $6.25 million. Utility rate revenues will fund all of these projects.

Stormwater Construction Projects – The City has several drainage construction projects planned for this year to address flooding issues. These projects are supported by a city-wide drainage improvement budget funded from Stormwater utility rates. These include:
• 4th Ave S. south of Dayton St. – Replacement of 275 feet and the addition of 200 feet of new pipe, 2 new catch basins, and 1 manhole to address flooding issues
• Upgrading an Alley Infiltration System South of 107th PL SW – Add capacity to the current infiltration system with stormwater injection wells.
• Infiltration System for 102nd Ave SW – Add an infiltration system at the south end of the Faith Community church parking lot at 10220 23th St SW.
• Stormwater upgrades at 5 Corners (part of the Roundabout Project) – includes a detention vault and water quality treatment system to reduce stormwater flows and improve water quality in Goodhope Pond.

The total budget for developing and building infrastructure projects in 2014 is approximately $19.5 million. The 2013 budget was $9.5 million, and that was a record amount for the City of Edmonds! This substantial increase in infrastructure replacement is necessary and timely. The funding for these projects comes from some great grant writing efforts, our Administration’s efforts to champion our projects and priorities through regional funding agencies and the State Legislature, as well as some difficult but forward-thinking decisions made by the City Council to adjust utility rates to generate debt-free capital for replacement projects.

Success is always a team effort!

— By Phil Williams, City of Edmonds Public Works Director


  1. Mr. Williams, Please provide details related to the Right of Way Acquisition at Five Corners. Please disclose the total price paid for each piece of property acquired, including legal fees and other direct costs. Please disclose how much of the cost and expense of acquiring all rights and interests in the property was paid for by the Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality (CMAQ) grant.

    Also, please disclose the original budget for right of way acquisition at Five Corners. Thank you.

    I am very concerned that the City Council did not put a maximum $ amount limit related to how much could be paid for the property when Ordinance 3916 was passed in March of 2013. 5 of 7 Councilmembers voted for negotiation or condemnation, but no maximum dollar amount was established in the related ordinance.

    As a side note, the public should know that the title of Ordinance 3916 includes the word “negotiation”, but negotiation is not mentioned once in the body of the Ordinance. Furthermore, did negotiations commence before the 5 Council members voted to pass Ordinance 3916?

  2. Melissa, I believe the City had a match requirement of 13.5% for the project. For example, if the grantors provided $3,000,000, the City would have to contribute $405,000 to the project. Hopefully Mr. Williams will confirm and/or clarify via a reply to this article on My Edmonds News.

    One reason I am interested in facts related to right of way acquisition is to find out if the grantor’s paid the same percentage for right-of-way acquisition – or if the City had to pay a higher % of these costs.

  3. Many of these items can be found on the Council website – by reading the minutes or the budget packages. Given the analytical nature that I take, I actually look at the check disbursements that are also available by following the links in the meeting the minutes. It raises questions for me about other items, not specifically this item, but it is a great source to see how money is shifted, pushed forward, and highlights the priorities that are in the budget. I hope that this info is helpful.

    The link, if they let me post it – is here:

  4. If you are serious about a “city-wide pavement prevention program,” then please enforce existing vehicle weight limits on residential streets. Take a look at the intersection of Walnut at 7th Ave. and observe the gouges made by semi trailers that cannot clear the steep hill. In part, the fix is to install traffic calming measures to slow automobiles and discourage trucks from using Walnut as a major thoroughfare. The sub-surface all along Walnut does not support the weight and the street is rapidly deteriorating (observe the pavement on Walnut just west of 9th Ave.). Beyond this, perhaps traffic calming might prevent ANOTHER pedestrian death!

  5. Congratulations. This is a big step in the right direction. I didn’t agree with the roundabout because we were so far in the hole when it was proposed,it’s going to be a reality so lets enjoy it and all theses other improvements. I hope that chip seal is effective.

  6. The 8,000 feet of chip seal overlay done on 2nd Avenue north this last 2014 has been regularly loosing large quantities of the coated gravel that was put down in Edmonds. One can easily see the loose gravel in driveways, the sidewalk, etc. all the time. There are also patches where the overlayment has totally lost the chip seal gravel. The street cleaning brush truck regularly comes to brush this aside where the huge amount of asphalt gravel is being washed down our “Puget Sounds Starts Here” drains. As this is covered with some type of asphalt or tar product, I suspect the huge amount of coated gravels going into those drains is number one, clogging the drains and number two, polluting our water.

    It is not hard to see here many, many reasons we have seen dead fish at our beach shore.

    Perhaps we need to know about the decision process here regarding this and what product and its chemical makeup this loose gravel is made of? Was anything else considered and what? Seems that this mass polluting of our environment needs to have some answers considering this street did not appear to need an overlay in the first place. This was written about before……2nd Avenue North.

    What is the chemical make up of the coating??? Mr. Williams, and why is all the gravel coming up????

    Considering the recent outcry regarding toxic crumb rubber dumped in our fragile environment here in Edmonds, I think we need to know about the chemical coating on this gravel!……..

  7. There is a citizen, who obviously doesn’t live on 2nd Ave. N. and who probably has never walked on the chip seal there, who continues to advocate for expanded use of this crap in our city. Chip seal is perhaps suitable for rural roads, but not for our city streets. In addition to the problems described above, try walking on it on a hot summer day. The exposed tar sticks to your shoes and the loose stones stick to the tar. It’s cheaper than asphalt because it’s worth a lot less than asphalt. Let’s have no more chip seal in Edmonds.


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