Snoqualmie seeks funding for SR 202 roundabout

SNOQUALMIE - The city of Snoqualmie hopes to secure funding this year for a road project that will alter the State Route 202 (SR 202), Mill Pond Road and Tokul Road intersections.

The project was outlined in an SR 202 corridor study that was approved by the city earlier this year. Presently, Tokul Road merges with Mill Pond Road before Mill Pond merges with SR 202. Under the plan, Tokul Road would be rerouted and brought east to merge directly with SR 202. Mill Pond Road would be brought south to move its intersection with SR 202 away from the entrance to the Salish Lodge and Spa and Snoqualmie Falls. All three roads would meet at a new roundabout that will be built across the street from the employee parking lot at the Salish Lodge and Spa.

Snoqualmie Public Works Director Kirk Holmes said the new intersection on SR 202 would increase the traffic flow and safety of the area. The angle that traffic from Mill Pond Road currently merges with SR 202 is dangerous, especially for those wanting to turn left since the view of oncoming traffic is obstructed, he said. The new roundabout would move that intersection away from that dangerous area and slow speeds.

Although a roundabout will be 20-30 percent more expensive than a conventional intersection, according to the study, there will be no traffic signal construction or maintenance costs with the project, and the total area to be paved will be reduced as well.

The SR 202 project also is slated to have an equestrian bridge that will run parallel to the bridge over the Snoqualmie River. The new bridge would be built to the north of the existing bridge and be part of an effort to connect local trails.

Holmes said the city hopes to get the funding secure by this year so construction can begin next year. He estimated the projects would be completed in 10 months.

The work will be a culmination of four individual projects, each with separate funding, Holmes said. Although a final cost is still being determined by city officials, the Salish Lodge and Spa has committed $1 million toward the construction of the roundabout.

The projects are two of many slated by Snoqualmie that are part of a six-year transportation plan the city is required to submit to the state every year. Other near-term road improvement plans include sidewalk replacements on Schusman Avenue, Falls Avenue, Delta Street, Gamma Street, Beta Street, Alpha Street, Euclid Avenue and Newton Street.

Holmes said the list, however, is not a hard set plan. Funding at the city, state and federal levels has been hard to find and the list changes from year to year as funding presents itself.

"It [the transportation plan] is a wish list," Holmes said.

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