It’s no secret that North Bend has lots of roundabout projects in its 6-year Transportation Improvement Plan.
Construction is almost complete on the city’s newest roundabout at North Bend Way and Park Street, a project that has made getting onto eastbound North Bend Way from the QFC parking lot much easier. It makes the third roundabout constructed in the city.
Four other roundabouts in design phase are also planned for the North Bend Way / 436th Ave SE intersection; the 436th Ave SE / SE 136th ST intersection; 468th Ave / Middle Fork Road / SE 140th Street intersection; and the Bendigo Blvd / NE 4th Street intersection.
[See earlier article about multiple roundabouts planned in North Bend]
Now another higher profile location has secured grant funding for roundabout design work: the Bendigo Blvd (SR 202) and Mt. Si Blvd intersection, which is near the North Bend Outlet Mall and busy I-90 exit 31.
According to City Administrator David Miller, the city recently received notice from the Puget Sound Regional Council (PSRC) that it will be awarded a $1.4 million grant for roundabout design costs. PSRC is the regional government agency that manages federal transportation grants.
Although the planned Bendigo Blvd / Mt. Si Blvd roundabout project is near the bottom of the city’s recently approved 6-year TIP, Miller said the intersection is more critical to the city from the standpoint of providing directional way-finding to the downtown business core, correcting some traffic conditions and improving access to the Outlet Mall.
Miller said the project provides more benefits for the cost compared to the 4th Street and Bendigo Blvd roundabout project that was also up for grant funding.
After the Bendigo /Mt Si Blvd roundabout design work is complete, North Bend will have to apply for another PSRC grant for construction funding.
Miller commented, “If we perform well on the first grant, there is a high likelihood that we will get the construction funds.”
North Bend anticipates design work to take about 1.5 years, as it not only includes awarding the design contract and professional design plans, but Right of Way acquisitions are also needed.
Miller said the North Bend Outlet Mall manager is very supportive of adding the proposed roundabout.
The best case scenario could have construction starting in 2022 or 2023, with completion in 2024.