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More road work ahead: Grant paves way for Snoqualmie downtown project's second phase

As construction crews hit the final stretch for Snoqualmie's town center street and sidewalk improvements, city planners are already looking at the next big change for downtown.

Phase one of the Town Center Infrastructure Improvement Project will wrap up next month, but downtown merchants can expect a second round of construction in 2012. A $500,000 grant from the Puget Sound Regional Council is adding force to a second phase of town center improvements.

Plans call for 12-foot sidewalks, lighting, drainage and safety improvements on Railroad Avenue between Fir Street and Newton Street.

"It's part of the revitalization of the city," said Snoqualmie Public Works Director Dan Marcinko, who relayed the timetable at an Oct. 6 meeting of downtown merchants.

The next phase is meant to encourage business owners to improve their properties, and "shows that we're putting our money where our mouth is," Marcinko said.

When finished, State Route 202 would include two 14-foot lanes with reverse-angle parking on both sides of the street for the entire three-block stretch. The city envisions an 18-foot sidewalk plaza in front of the Snoqualmie Depot. The project will bring the crossings into compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Work would begin in spring 2012 and end by November.

"I don't want to disrupt business any more than we have to," Marcinko said. "We want to get in and out as quickly as possible."

Public involvement will be invited next spring on the plans. Marcinko said alternatives to the basalt standing stones are being considered.

The city has applied for two $3 million grants from the state to fund the project.

Finishing phase 1

Issaquah-based Sanders General Construction is expected to finish the $3.2 million first phase of town center improvements.

Workers paved Falls Avenue and River Street last week, and street poles will be coming down in the downtown core this month.

Fine October weather helped.

Marcinko said the city has been very satisfied with Sanders' work.

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