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Expect a lane shift next week on Rainier Avenue South
Workers on Rainer Avenue South are getting ready to make another lane shift next week as the project gets closer and closer to completion.
According to Angie Thomson, who handles community outreach for the project, the lane shift is planned for the evening of Sept. 12 and will affect the northbound lanes of traffic.
Thomson said drivers will be shifted into the two lanes to the east (right) of current traffic to create space for construction of new medians in the roadway.
"It's not a lane restriction," she said.
Some pavement grinding will be necessary to build the medians, but generally, drivers should not be disrupted. The grinding work will also be done at night.
All work is weather-permitting.
When complete, Rainier Avenue South will be a boulevard with a median separating the north- and southbound lanes and removing the left turn lane in the middle, sometimes referred to as a "suicide lane."
Exits from most businesses will be right turn only, but there will be U-turn routes available.
Thomson said the project is currently ahead of the scheduled completion date of next spring and should be done by the end of the year, weather permitting again, of course.
Project improvements to Rainier Avenue South include eliminating left-hand turn lanes, adding new north and southbound lanes to increase transit mobility and business access, building wider sidewalks and installing planter strips and upgraded lighting. Underground infrastructure is also being relocated or installed, namely gas, electricity, telecommunications and water.
The $16 million Rainier Avenue South Project is a funding collaboration of the City of Renton, Sound Transit, US Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration, Transportation Improvement Board, Washington State Department of Transportation, Puget Sound Regional Council and the Department of Commerce Public Works Board.