Carnation to get first traffic signal

In a major milestone for the city, its drivers and pedestrians, Carnation will soon see its first four-way stoplight on Tolt Avenue.

At its March 15 meeting, the Carnation City Council recommended awarding a contract for the installation of a traffic signal at the intersection of Tolt Avenue and Entwistle Street, plus a marked crosswalk with a flashing yellow light at the intersection of Tolt and West Morrison Street, to Totem Electric of Tacoma.

King County, which opened the bids and will manage the construction, must formally award the contract, which is expected to happen this week, following approval by all the funding partners.

"It's just been a long time coming," said City Manager Ken Carter, who estimates the council has been pursuing a stoplight at the Entwistle intersection for more than 10 years. He summed up the council's feelings as "relief. Finally, we're going to get it done."

Last month, the council postponed action on the signal, because the initial bids came in about $50,000 higher than the engineer's estimate of $460,737. The Transportation Improvement Board, the project's largest contributor, then cut its commitment because of some non-eligible engineering expenses.

Carter said the city had planned to contact all of the funding partners to find a way to cut expenses and raise more money for the project, and they had great success.

"We have wonderful partners," Carter said. King County agreed to reduce its construction management costs by $12,000, and the TIB agreed to restore the full funding amount of $497,000. Other funding partners included the Bureau of Indian Affairs and the Snoqualmie Tribe with $137,000, and the Puget Sound Regional Council with $70,000. The state Department of Transportation also awarded Carnation a Safe Routes to School grant for the Morrison crosswalk.

The $514,000 project will not cost the city of Carnation a cent, Carter said.

Work is expected to begin this summer.




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