The North Bend City Council voted on April 3 to approve contracts for two new transportation consultants and to purchase the property necessary to realign Southeast Tanner Road.
The new transportation consultants, DKS Associates and TSI Transportation Solutions Inc, were approved to begin contracts for the city. North Bend Public Works Director Mark Rigos said their responsibilities would include support for transportation impact analysis reviews, technical support for hearing examiners in the State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA) process, and would work to update the transportation section of the city’s Comprehensive Plan.
The city doesn’t have any transportation engineers on staff, he said, so bringing on consultants is the best way to work on these projects. The city previously used engineering consultants Perteet, which had a more broad scope, but wanted to try both DKS and TSI as they were purely focused on transportation and traffic.
The city contracted with two firms to make sure that turn around times are fast and to compare the work they do. Rigos said some competition would help North Bend find how to get the best value for their money.
“We might have them provide different services, one firm might be doing transportation planning, and another might be doing engineer reviews,” he said. “Depending on what we find from them, we may use one or the other more often.”
One of the big upcoming projects is the six year Transportation Improvement Plan (TIP), a document that collects and prioritizes the transportation improvement projects for the next six years. Updated and adopted every June, the TIP will be one of the big projects for consultants in the next few months, Rigos said.
DKS Associates were contracted until Dec. 31, 2019, not to exceed $75,000. TSI Transportation Solutions’ work should not exceed $100,000.
The council also approved purchasing property that would allow the city to realign the intersection of Southeast Tanner Road and Southeast North Bend Way. The realignment is necessary to improve safety for drivers, Rigos said, and has been on the city’s TIP for three years.
The council had previously approved $35,100 for the purchase of the property, and the April 3 vote approved an additional payment of $2,154.26 from the sewer fund.
The two roads cross at a very acute angle, which makes it very hard for drivers to see oncoming traffic. The road also sees traffic often exceed 50 miles per hour, Rigos said. The goal is to realign the road to a 90 degree angle to improve the visibility and safety for drivers.
The realignment work itself will cost from $250,000 to $300,000, which will be funded by the transportation impact fees paid by developers, Rigos said.