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Renton "Ready-to-Go" with Projects for Federal and State Economic Stimulus Packages

December 12, 2008

For more information contact:

Suzanne Dale Estey, Economic Development Director 425-430-6591
Preeti Shridhar, Communications Director, 425-430-6569

City’s proposed projects create jobs, invest in infrastructure and can get done quickly

RENTON — The City of Renton recently submitted a list of nine projects, ranging in cost from $775,000 to $80 million, to be considered for federal and state funds from anticipated economic recovery packages. The projects are ready to go should funding become available, and would help promote economic development, increase regional employment, and allow taxpayers to see projects implemented quickly. They include projects to improve freight mobility and safety, reduce traffic congestion, conserve energy and natural resources, increase government efficiency, and support the economic development priorities of both the Renton and the regional Prosperity Partnership.

In light of the regional and national economic downturn, and as part of an effort to encourage investment to stimulate the local economy, Renton Mayor Denis Law submitted the list of projects to US Senators Murray and Cantwell, Congressmen Reichert and Smith, Governor Gregoire, state legislative leaders, the US Conference of Mayors, and other regional leaders. These projects focus on infrastructure improvements and their environmental review and design phases are either complete or nearly complete.

“We need to invest where we can get the biggest return,” said Mayor Denis Law. “At the local level, we have a variety of projects that are labor intensive and that can get started right away. With state and federal support, we can put people to work, accelerate much-needed infrastructure improvements, and stimulate the local economy.”

The list of projects put forth by the city includes:

  • Rainier Avenue (SR 167) Improvements, including Shattuck Avenue stormwater bypass: Rainier Avenue is a major regional corridor. Project improvements include adding business access and transit lanes, adding left-turn lanes, widening sidewalks and other improvements. The stormwater project will provide a bypass for surface water coming from Rainier Avenue, address flooding, and conserve natural resources. The project will be ready for construction within two to three months and the project cost is $2 million. The City of Renton, Sound Transit and BNSF are the major sponsors of the project.
  • SW 27th Street/Strander Boulevard Connection Project:  This connection will provide an alternate route to I-405 between I-5 and SR 167 and will significantly enhance freight mobility. The railroad realignment phase of the project significantly improves pedestrian safety. The project promotes transit-oriented development, eases congestion, and the railroad realignment saves $8 million in local construction costs. The project is ready for construction if funded and the cost is $4.2 million just for the rail realignment or $34 million for the completion of the rail realignment and the bridge over the tracks. The cities of Renton and Tukwila are the major sponsors.
  • Earlington Water and Sewer Replacement Project: The project replaces approximately 8,000 feet of aging, leaky and undersized water mains to provide adequate capacity for fire protection, improve drinking water quality, and conserve natural resources. The project will be ready for construction in April 2009 and will cost $3.7 million. The City of Renton is the major sponsor.
  • City Sidewalk Project: The project will construct several sidewalks to improve pedestrian facilities and ensure that they meet the guidelines of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).  The project will be ready for construction within two to three months and the project cost is $1 million. The City of Renton is the major sponsor of the project.
  • Street Overlay and Rehabilitation Project: The project will provide asphalt concrete resurfacing of city streets and rehabilitation of arterials that are critical to movement of freight within and through the city. The project will be ready for construction within three to four months, and the project cost is $4 million. The City of Renton is the major sponsor of the project.
  • Downtown Renton Wayfinding Initiative: The project will construct and install a system of signage, gateways, and kiosks to highlight destinations and guide visitors into and around downtown Renton.  This will enhance the revitalization efforts of Renton’s historic business district and promote economic development and growth. The cost is $775,000.  Installation of some of the signs could begin immediately. The City of Renton is the major sponsor of the project.
  • “SCORE” Regional Jail Facility: This project is a unique cooperative effort between seven municipal entities to site, design, build, and operate a 668-bed correctional facility. The project will provide above-average wage jobs for approximately 122 employees and support services around or near the facility. The project will be ready to break ground in September 2009.  The cost of the project is $80 million and the major sponsors are the cities of Auburn, Des Moines, Federal Way, Tukwila, Renton, Burien and SeaTac.
  • Facilities and Parks Maintenance & Operations Center:  This project would replace old and temporary facilities that support the city’s parks and facilities maintenance staff and operations, create operational efficiencies and make them consistent with current safety and environmental regulations, reduce energy consumption, and stimulate redevelopment of properties used for existing facilities.  The cost is $12 million and construction could begin within three months.  The City of Renton is the major sponsor of the project.
  • Interstate 405/Highway 167 HOV to HOV Connector: This project would provide a direct HOV-to-HOV connection between SR 167 and I-405 toward Bellevue, eliminate the existing weave for both northbound and southbound traffic, and be compatible with the proposed extension of the SR 167 HOT lanes onto I-405.  The I-405/SR 167 interchange is one of the most heavily congested interchanges in the state. Traffic analysis shows that this project significantly reduces delays that are currently experienced by motorists both at the inter-change and throughout the SR 167 corridor and the southern portion of I-405.   The Washington State Department of Transportation is the lead agency on the project and they could have requests for proposals for the design-build construction out in six to eight months.  The cost of the project is $80 million.  Supportive agencies include the Cities of Renton, Kent, and Auburn, and Sound Transit.

"Our proposal demonstrates the significant needs we face in our city and region, and I hope it will be included as part of the larger plans that address the significant economic challenges the country is grappling with," said Law. "Investing in projects that will generate family wage jobs, support large and small businesses, stimulate our economy and strengthen our critically needed infrastructure would provide immediate benefits in our city and throughout the country."