Sometime later this year, Snoqualmie Valley residents should get some traffic improvement along SR 202 as the City of North Bend moves forward with plans to widen Bendigo Blvd, adding a right turn lane onto Park Street.
The project was listed as a top priority in the city’s 2015-2020 Transportation Improvement Plan – coming in as the #2 priority. The intersection is home to the recently built Bartell Drugs and the city’s small Information Center/Art Gallery – and also brings residents and visitors into the downtown core from I-90 exit 31.
In spring 2015 the city entered into a contract with Tetra Tech to design the new northbound right turn lane at the busy intersection, which often backs up for blocks on weekends and peak commuting hours.
Due to Bendigo also being a state route (SR 202), the designs are required to be reviewed, approved and inspected by the Washington State Department of Transportation – an extra step that is expected to add about $25,000 to the project’s total estimated cost of $436,000. The North Bend City Council approved the extra expenditure at its January 5th meeting.
The Bendigo/Park intersection improvement project will be funded by the City of North Bend’s Transportation Impact Fee account and is expected to begin construction later this year.
Public Works Director Mark Rigos said the project’s 2016 construction dates have not yet been set, but the earliest the city could be ready is in May, explaining that they prefer to do paving projects during the dry season due to less weather delays and reduced costs for erosion control.
Rigos said via email that construction of the new turn lane will take about 4-6 weeks and would likely be scheduled around future summer city events so as not to inconvenience attendees. By March the city hopes to have a better idea of the project’s exact dates.