City Council approves 212th and 76th intersection improvements

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    76th Avenue West and 212th Street Southwest intersection improvements.

    The Edmonds City Council during its Tuesday evening study session awarded a contract to Marshbank Construction for long-awaited improvements to the intersection at 76th Avenue West and 212th Street Southwest. Marshbank is the same firm that completed the roundabout at Five Corners.

    The project had been put on hold after an earlier round of bids in 2016 came in far above the engineer’s estimate. In the interim, the city was able to obtain an addition $1.3 million in state transportation grants and combine the intersection improvements with the already-planned Bike2Health bike lane project. By requesting bids much earlier in the year than during 2016, the city received five bids and the lowest bid — from Marshbank at $4,435,239.62 — was under last year’s target.

    “We’re very happy with the bid,” City Engineer Rob English told the council.

    The Bike2Health project is funded by grants from the Verdant Health Commission and the Washington State Transportation Improvement Board. The combined project will add three miles of bike lanes along the two roads as well as left-turn lanes and right-turn lanes at the intersection of the two. Utilities at 76th and 212th will also be moved underground, and the project includes replacement of sewer and water pipe as well as a new stormwater detention basin.

    Bike lanes on 76th Avenue will begin at 220th Street Southwest and continue north to 198th Street in Lynnwood. A combination of bike lanes and sharrows will be installed on 76th Avenue north of 198th Streeet to Olympic View Drive.

    As part of this project, the council agreed to move to next week’s consent agenda a local agency agreement with KBA, Inc. for $389,580 to complete the construction support services and the required material testing.

    Two other items were discussed and moved to next week’s consent agenda:

    – City contracts for special events with the Edmonds Museum Farmers Market, the Edmonds Arts Festival, the Fourth of July and the Taste of Edmonds. The contracts include a request by Councilmember Kristiana Johnson to add language “strongly encouraging” food vendors to provide compostable and recyclable food service wares. This follows up on a resolution the council passed in April 2016 to adopt Zero Waste and Beyond Waste as long-term goals.

    – First quarter budget amendments. The net effect of these is the reduction of the city’s fund balances by slightly over $400,000.

    The council also heard the first report from city staff on the City’s Critical Areas Ordinance and was given examples of the kind of issues it involves. Councilmember Diane Buckshnis asked for future reports to include more detail about all the issues rather than just examples. Councilmember Mike Nelson requested more detail on how decisions were made.

    The last item of the night was a discussion about implementing the revised sign ordinance. An ordinance was passed in August 2016 that primarily dealt with “pedestrian” or A-frame signs. Once passed, local businesses though it was too restrictive and asked for changes. Working with the Edmonds Planning Board, city staff came up with some proposed changes. The changes make location choices less restrictive, review permit costs and allow for exceptions to be administered by the city’s Development Services Director rather than the Architectural Design Board. A public hearing on the revised ordinance will be held at next week’s council meeting.

    All councilmembers were present Tuesday. Council President Tom Mesaros served as Mayor Pro-Tem as Mayor Dave Earling was attending meetings in Washington, D.C.

    — By Harry Gatjens

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