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Rainier Avenue South officially opens
Renton Mayor Denis Law and state and regional dignitaries, representing government, funding agencies and local businesses, officially opened Rainier Avenue South Monday morning, after an improvement project.
The ribbon-cutting ceremony took place in the parking lot of McLendon Hardware in Renton.
"We are really pleased to complete this project ahead of schedule," said Law. "This is one of the major corridors in our city and these improvements provide significant benefits to businesses, enhance the economic vitality of our downtown, and strengthen transportation in and through Renton."
Officials hope that the improvement project will "result in a safer, more aesthetically pleasing major north-south corridor to Renton," a press release stated. The project was designed to improve transit mobility, upgrade traffic safety, and enhance pedestrian safety with new 8-foot wide sidewalks, landscaped buffers, improved street lighting and welcoming art displays creating a "gateway" to the city of Renton.
"Congratulations to the City of Renton and all of the project partners for working together on this important investment for our community," said Congressman Adam Smith. "With new lanes, wider sidewalks, improved lighting, and safer pedestrian access, this project has created a gateway to Renton that truly reflects the spirit of this great city."
This is the final phase of this improvement project. Phase 1 of the Rainier Avenue Project, completed in 2008, replaced the BNSF railroad bridge crossing over Rainier Avenue between South Fourth Place and South/Southwest Seventh Street. Phase 2, completed in 2009, replaced utility infrastructure, replaced the Shattuck Avenue railroad bridge, widened Shattuck Avenue at South Fourth Place, and improved pedestrian areas adding sidewalks and landscaping.
The project was funded by a collaboration of the City of Renton, Sound Transit, U.S. 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 Department. In addition the City of Renton obtained a storm water retrofit and LID grant from the Washington State Department of Ecology covering 85 percent of the cost of storm water infrastructure improvements.
"The Rainier Avenue Improvement Project is an excellent example of many community partners coming together to complete a very important project that eases congestion, enhances traffic safety, and improves transit," said Stevan Gorcester, executive director Transportation Improvement Board.