Progress on regional transportation projects

Reporter Staff

Here are what is happening with other key transportation projects that will affect Islanders.

Park and Ride

Work at the Park and Ride on the North end of the Island will also continue to take place this fall. After several delays, the project is expected to be completed by the end of the year. Bruce Gray, spokesperson for Sound Transit, said the construction work is moving along as planned.

“We’re still on pace to finish by the end of the year,” Gray said. “Crews have finished some work on the perimeter walls, added extra support underneath and backfilled some perimeter supports with extra concrete.”

The park and ride was originally scheduled to open last March, but a cracked concrete support beam found nearly a year ago delayed the project considerably. To offset the pressures that caused the beam to crack, a new design was submitted to and approved by the city. Construction workers have begun building the additional support structures on the perimeter of the two-story garage.

The former park and ride lot provided about 250 commuter parking spaces on Mercer Island. Once completed, the new two- story parking garage will have 449 parking spaces. One parking spot was lost due to the redesign and the need for additional support structures. Other improvements already finished for the $9 million facility include bus bays in each direction and new passenger shelters. The new garage will also have bicycle storage.

Renton Airport

Plans for expanding the Renton Airport may have been put on hold for now, but progress is expected to continue this fall while a noise impact study takes place.

City of Renton officials will be contracting a noise study in the coming months to test the potential effects of its proposed changes at the Renton Airport. Since the cities of Renton and Mercer Island have agreed to work collaboratively on resolving issues surrounding the airport, the City Council is expected to contribute to the costs of the noise study.

The Council will decide to enter that agreement with the city of Renton and pledge to share $50,000 toward the cost of the study at its next meeting, 7 p.m., Sept. 4, at City Hall. The noise study will be conducted by Harris Miller, Miller & Hanson Inc. The company tests the effects of sound from airports, highways, railways, military activities, construction projects, entertainment venues and recreational facilities around the world.

Representatives from the consultant group will be present for a public meeting on the Island to explain how the noise study works. The meeting is scheduled from 7 to 9 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 25, at the Community Center at Mercer View. Members of the City Council will be in attendance as well to learn about airport noise effects and to provide input for the airport noise study.

Renton has promised to withhold further action regarding the airport changes until the noise study is completed.

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