Duvall widening work to start in June



planned to take 13 months

A $10.1 million contract has been awarded to a Puyallup company for a 13-month project to widen Duvall Avenue Northeast in the Highlands starting in June.

City of Renton officials were working this week with the contractor, Northwest Cascade Inc., on the schedule for the project.

Transportation officials will present a final construction schedule to the City Council once it’s worked out that will include a firm start date for the project.

Originally, the city had expected to start the work in early February. The work will result in the complete closure of Duvall Avenue in the construction area.

The City Council last month accepted the low bid from Northwest Cascade Inc. from among eight bids, ranging from $10.1 million to $11.5 million.

The engineer’s earlier estimate for the project was about $12.4 million, which is 18.5 percent above the low bid. However, Bob Hanson, the City of Renton transportation design supervisor, said the city expected the bid would come in at around $10 million.

A big chunk of the savings came from the fact the contractor won’t have to accommodate traffic during the project, cutting a year off the construction time, according to Hanson.

At one point, the estimate was about $14 million, Hanson said.

The bidding also came at a “good time of year when contractors weren’t particularly busy,” he said.

“All conspired to give us a most competitive bid,” Hanson said.

Total revenue for the project is about $12.5 million, which includes a contingency of about $1 million. The City Council will review the project throughout construction to determine whether to change the amount in the contingency.

About $6.6 million of the revenue will come from King County. The city’s share is about $2.2 million. State dollars will also help pay for the project.

According to Hanson, the city has spent about $4.7 million on Duvall in recent years, which includes the current cost, preliminary design and purchase of right of way.

In all, the cost of the project is about $11.5 million, which includes construction.

There is a contingency fund of about $1 million, which the city will review throughout construction to determine whether to change the amount in the fund.

The project is one of the largest in city history, but falls short of the roughly $20 million for infrastructure improvements for The Landing.

Still, Hanson said, “this is a pretty good-sized project for the city.”

Coming up later is the widening project for Rainier Avenue South, which could cost about $30 million.

Northwest Cascade will widen 3,800 feet – about three-quarters of a mile – of Duvall Avenue Northeast and Coal Creek Parkway Southeast from Southeast 107th Place to Southeast 95th Place.

The project also includes new sidewalk and curbs, retaining walls, stormwater-control facilities, a traffic signal at Northeast 21st Street, sewer and water main upgrades and putting utilities, such as power lines, underground.

The 13-month road closure has drawn the concerns of local businesses on Duvall who fear loss of business and from local residents who worry about access to their homes.

The city will work with the affected neighborhoods and businesses to minimize impacts.

The main detour routes for commuters around Duvall/Coal Creek Parkway will be State Route 900 and Interstate 405, according to Hanson. Locally, drivers will use 148th Avenue Southeast.

The City of Newcastle also has a multimillion-dollar project on Coal Creek Parkway, including a wider bridge over May Creek, that also affects the commute.

Duvall/Coal Creek Parkway is a major commuter route linking east Renton, Newcastle and Bellevue.

An advantage of the later construction start is that the “final lift” of asphalt will be placed in the heat of summer, the best time to do the work, Hanson said.

“The idea is to have the street opened by the start of school next year,” Hanson said.

Some landscaping and cleanup will continue into the later part of summer, he said.

Hanson said city officials received “excellent” reports from other cities that had Northwest Cascade do work for them. The company also has done previous projects for the City of Renton, including building a retaining wall on Lake Washington Boulevard near Newcastle and a stormwater project.

Hanson said the city intends “to shepherd this project very very closely.”

Dean A. Radford can be reached at 425-255-3484, ext. 5050, or at dean.radford@rentonreporter.com.