New options for SR 9/SR 204 intersection coming as spring approaches

By Samantha DeMars-Hanson 

Who else is fed up with all this snow? While we’re still seeing flakes fall in some areas, the recent sunshine and blue skies makes us eager for spring and the renewed sense of opportunity that comes with colorful flowers and fewer layers. For the Lake Stevens community, spring 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 budget challenges to address.
An upcoming open house will be a great chance to hear about
 the future of the SR 9/SR 204 intersection in Lake Stevens.

Sowing seeds
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.

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.

Spring into action
Want to learn more about the updated plans? You are invited to our upcoming open house to provide feedback to the project team on the new design. The open house will take place from 6 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, March 20, at Hillcrest Elementary 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.

Here comes the sun
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 to us on the new design. Then the project team will begin final design work ahead of construction.

This spring, we’ll hope for many sunny days as we start construction to add a lane on southbound SR 9, south of Market Place Northeast. This construction is a small part of the overall project.

Background 
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.

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