Mercer Island wins grant money for ped/bike safety project

In other news, Island Crest Park construction continues and trash service dates shift over holidays.

City wins grant money for ped/bike safety project

The city of Mercer Island announced that the state’s Transportation Improvement Board (TIB) recently selected the Southeast 40th Street corridor project to receive $500,000 in grant funding to assist with construction.

The Legislature created the TIB to foster state investment in quality local transportation projects, generated by three cents of the statewide gas tax. Applying for grant funding is a frequent approach used by the city to stretch project budgets and be as cost-efficient as possible.

As a main east-west arterial on the Island, Southeast 40th Street is a vital roadway directly serving numerous public facilities. It is also part of the newly designated North/South Bike Route and serves as a walking route for Northwood Elementary and the High School. The project will improve circulation and safety for bicyclists and pedestrians by completing gaps in the existing facilities between Island Crest Way and 88th Avenue Southeast, and will improve ADA accessibility throughout the corridor.

For economies of scale in construction, this work will be combined with the Safe Routes to Northwood Elementary School project which was designed in 2016 and advertised for construction in 2017. Since only one bid was received for that project (higher than budgeted) it was delayed until 2018. The Northwood project focuses on improving walking and biking facilities between 88th Avenue Southeast and Gallagher Hill Road.

A city match of 57 percent of the total construction cost is required for this grant. With preliminary construction costs estimated at $1.17 million, the city’s share may be about $671,000. Design work for the first section (Island Crest Way to 88th Avenue) kicks off in December, with six months of construction targeted to start in June 2018 once school is out.

Island Crest Park construction continues

The Island Crest Park sportsfield improvement project is well underway, and the current good weather is helping, according to the city. The existing 30-year-old wood poles have been replaced with rigid steel and a much more efficient LED light system is ready to be installed.

This week, crews are laying out synthetic turf in the north field, with sand and cork infill scheduled for spreading into the artificial grass fibers next week, which should enhance safety and performance.

This field will have flexible markings to accommodate a range of sports, much better drainage, and a new scoreboard funded by the MI Baseball Boosters Club.

Grants and community donations totaling over $700,000 represent 30 percent of the entire budget and made the project possible. Completion is expected in a few weeks.

Recycling and waste service dates shift over holidays

Since both Christmas Day and New Years Day fall on Mondays this year, curbside collection will not occur on those days, and will instead shift to one day later for the entire week following each holiday, the city explained in its weekly newsletter.

For example, customers that would normally be collected on Fridays will be served instead on Saturday.

The city also offers special recycling and chipping services for holiday trees starting on Dec. 26.

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