Courtesy Photo The downtown revitalization project is divided into multiple phases of development around downtown Snoqualmie.

Downtown revitalization plan completes second phase

After recently completing phase 2A of the city’s Downtown Revitalization project, Snoqualmie city staff have begun working on future phases of the project.

Started in 2008, the downtown revitalization project aims to improve infrastructure and utilities along Railroad Avenue, S.R. 202. Kamal Mahmoud, public works project engineer at the city of Snoqualmie, explained that the project, which follows the city’s comprehensive plan, is broken up into phases, to be tackled one at a time.

“We started in back in 2008,” he said. “We started design with phase one of the downtown which was Falls Avenue between River Street and King Street. Then we did the east side of Railroad Avenue on the restaurants and businesses side. We did sidewalks and additional work as well.”

In 2013, the city began design work on phase 2A, covering Railroad Avenue from River Street to Northern Street. Phase 2A’s improvements included replacing aging underground infrastructure like storm water drainage and sewers, moving power lines underground and adding 1,200 feet of pedestrian facilitates such as sidewalks, the boardwalk, crosswalks, lighting, trees and benches.

“We do the urban design and we would also replace underground utilities where we can and improve our infrastructure where we would provide pedestrian sidewalks, walkways and improve the overall condition of the road, recognizing this is a very high-pedestrian area,” he said.

Phase 2A was officially recognized as physically complete on Monday, Nov. 14, at a Snoqualmie City Council meeting. Now the city is looking forward to the next phase in downtown.

“We applied for design grants from federal highway administration by way of Puget Sound Regional Council, and we are in line for a design grant to design phase 3A,” Mahmoud said. “We want to continue with the same theme, underground utilities, replacing utilities, providing pedestrian facilities, lighting, and just continue with the same type of improvement that we have done.”

The city is planning to start design work in 2017. Once the design is completed, they will look at the next step, and work with city council to approve the plans, Mahmoud said.

One of the projects in the third phase Mahmoud mentioned was the possible replacement of the Kimball Creek bridge that connects downtown Snoqualmie to the Snoqualmie Parkway. The city is pursuing a design grant for the project.

“The bridge is a state bridge, but it doesn’t look like the state has any plans to do anything there in the next 10 years or so. We feel that bridge could use a replacement, so we are also looking to see if there is some sort of a grant to design and construct and replace that bridge,” he said. “It is functioning, but we are trying to look to the future and instead of waiting for something to happen. We are just trying to be proactive.”

Another, smaller, aspect of the project is the “1 Percent for Art” legislation adopted by King County in 1973. That means that 1 percent of the overall budget goes to implementation of art into the project. Snoqualmie has adhered to this legislation in the first two completed phases and art installations can be seen along Railroad Avenue.

With Phase 2A complete Snoqualmie has begun planning ahead for 2017, 2018 and 2019.

“We work on improving the city’s infrastructure, city roads, trying to make it better every day,” Mahmoud said. “To help provide good service to our residents, citizens and to the visitors.”

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