$2 million transportation improvement board grant accepted

The grant will assist in funding the state Route 202 improvement project.

The Redmond City Council has accepted a $2 million grant from the Washington State Transportation Improvement Board for state Route 202 improvements.

The grant was accepted to improve the intersections of 70th street at Redmond Way and 76th Street at Redmond Way.

TIB issued the grant because the project is rated as a top mobility improvement project, out of 37 projects submitted by local jurisdictions in the Puget Sound region.

To help fulfill the vision of the Transportation Master Plan (the city’s long-range vision for transportation), the project is moving forward.

“The reason [the improvement project] is advancing right at this time is we’re able to coordinate the project with the work that Sound Transit is doing, extending the light rail from Overlake to downtown,” said Donald Cairns, a city of Redmond planning manager.

At the intersection of 70th Street at Redmond Way, the city will add a second northbound left turn lane on Redmond Way.

At 76th Street at Redmond Way, the city will construct a second eastbound left turn lane, enabling a second eastbound lane to be built on 76th Street. The additional lanes will allow for better traffic flow on Redmond Way and will support easier access to Marymoor Village, the future destination of the Marymoor Village light rail station.

According to Cairns and the agreement between the city and Sound Transit, the light rail extension has to make “betterments” or infrastructure improvements on behalf of the city, including widening 70th Street.

“Because of the work that Sound Transit is doing both at that intersection and improving that signal, we’re taking advantage of that to add in the city’s portion of the work to make those improvements along with the work that Sound Transit has to do as part of their project,” Cairns said.

By collaborating with Sound Transit the city could expedite the process.

The design process began in the fall of 2019 and according to Cairns, the majority of the road infrastructure improvements will be completed in 2023, while the light rail won’t be available to passengers until late 2024.