In March, the Puget Sound Regional Council (PSRC) approved funding for the recipients of their 2021 Rural Town Centers and Corridors (RTCC), a program that provides grants for projects in smaller, rural cities in the Pacific Northwest.
The City of North Bend was among eight projects selected, with $967,500 recommended for preliminary engineering and design for a new beautification and traffic flow project in town: The South Fork Avenue Extension Bypass.
The South Fork Avenue project includes extending South Fork Avenue SW to West North Bend Way. The extension will provide drivers – notably heavy truck traffic – with an arterial level connection between West North Bend Way and Bendigo Boulevard South (State Route 202).
Right now, South Fork Avenue extends to the northwest, from SR 202 at North Bend Premium Outlets, but ends at the Nintendo of America facility entrance.
The South Fork Avenue project aims to:
- Reduce traffic volumes and the emissions impact at major intersections within the City’s main downtown Historic District;
- Provide alternatives for truck traffic;
- Improve safety for the traveling public, pedestrians, and cyclists;
- Improve access to and from I-90.
This is one step in a series of grant-supported projects involving beautification, vehicle and trail connectivity, flood reduction and habitat restoration in this part of North Bend. Proposed projects to accompany the South Fork Avenue Extension Bypass include:
- A roundabout at NW 8th, South Fork Avenue and West North Bend Way, with the goal of improving traffic flow, reducing delay and increasing pedestrian safety;
- A setback of the left bank levee along the South Fork Snoqualmie River, with a shared-use trail atop the levee. Proposals include eventually connecting the trail to Tollgate Farm Park, the Snoqualmie Valley Trail, and West North Bend Way. In addition to increasing connectivity throughout North Bend, the trail will become part of the future Evergreenway Trail, which will also provide multi-use connection to neighboring communities, from Snoqualmie Pass to Issaquah.
The overall combined project offers North Bend many benefits. In addition to increasing connectivity, reducing traffic congestion, emissions, and flood impacts, this work will provide a more natural shoreline, with additional habitat restoration that will support improved water quality and cooler river temperatures.
City of North Bend Capital Projects and Grants Manager, Daniel Marcinko commented, “Our City Council continues to be forward thinking in their efforts to provide the quality of life our residents are accustomed to and encourage visitors to shop and stroll safely. We are working hard to provide public safety, while also enhancing the livability of North Bend and our thriving Historic District. This grant is a win for our community!”
These projects are being developed in collaboration with the PSRC, the North Bend business community, King County Flood Control District, King County Department of Natural Resources and the Mountains to Sound Greenway.
Design for the roadway bypass is expected to begin this year, completing in 2023, with construction in 2024 and 2025.
[Information provided by the City of North Bend]