Wells Ave S and Williams Ave S Conversion Project

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Updated August 14, 2020

Image of a Two Way Traffic SignThe Wells-Williams Conversion Project improves connectivity and access in downtown Renton to make it a more vibrant and livable area by converting Wells Ave S and Williams Ave S to two-way traffic. Construction is expected to continue into early 2021.

Virtual Office Hours

Have a question or comment on the Wells-Williams Conversion Project?

Join us virtually on these dates for the a bi-weekly virtual office hours. All session start at 1 p.m. and end at 1:30 p.m.

  • Friday, August 14
  • Friday, August 28
  • Friday, September 11
  • Friday, September 25

To avoid Zoom bombing, please register to access the Zoom details, which will include an option to join from your phone.

Own a downtown business?

Schedule a one-on-one briefing. We want to connect with you to coordinate upcoming sidewalk work and intersection work in regard to specific impacts based on location. To reduce the spread of COVID-19 we are generally connecting virtually, but please let us know if you would prefer a conversation by phone or in-person.

Please reserve a time for a virtual meeting with a member of our project team.

Explore the final intersection design and proposed detours.

Project History

Learn more about the project features, history and design 

We are interested in gathering information from businesses and residents that will help us be good neighbors during construction and minimize construction impacts.

Please fill out our survey!

Email Updates

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Current Construction

Three week look-ahead schedule (August 17 - September 4)

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Typical Work Hours

Weekdays from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. with occasional noise, dust and vibration.

Utility Work on S 3rd St

No Parking Sign
Crews are required to provide notice before no parking goes into effect. Parking is only restricted during the dates and times noted on the sign.

As a reminder, construction on S 3rd St will continue between now and early 2021.

We are continuing to install stormwater crossings on S 3rd St from Burnett Ave S to Main Ave S. We anticipate flipping the single-lane closure and parking restrictions on the north side of S 3rd St to the south side of the street as soon as the week of August 10. Crews will fill the trenches on the north side with gravel and cover them with steel sheets to allow through traffic and minimize dust. Once the stormwater crossings are complete, we will temporarily pave the trenches.

Utility work on S 2nd St

Crews are installing new utilities on S 2nd St between Main Ave S and Burnett Ave S for approximately 3 months. Crews are beginning with stormwater work and plan to maintain at least one lane of through-traffic on S 2nd St with parking restrictions. Driveway access to businesses and buildings will be maintained, although may be reduced to a single-car width.

New Stop Signs on S 2nd St and S 3rd St

The project converted the intersections on S 3rd St at Wells Ave S and Williams Ave S to all-ways stops with stop-signs. These two intersections will operate as all-way stops for the next several months as the project removes and upgrades the signals to support the transition to two-way traffic.

We recently replaced the stop signs on S 2nd St, so please pay extra attention as everyone adjusts to the change. As a reminder, people walking have the right-of-way and always yield to the right.

GRaphic Image of Williams Ave S and S 2nd ST  Graphic of Wells Ave S and S 2nd St

More About the New Stop Signs

Graphic of Williams Ave S and S 3rd St Graphic Wells Ave S and S 3rd St

To reduce confusion at the intersection, we:

  • Narrowed Wells Ave S and Williams Ave S to a single-lane as they approach the four all-way stops.

  • Added pedestrian flags at the crosswalk, so people crossing have the option to increase their visibility.

Noise, Dust and Vibration

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Temporary pavement has been installed on S 3rd St in an effort to reduce the amount of dust created from construction activities.

With COVID-19 we recognize some businesses are currently using the sidewalk for to-go orders. Underground utility work can generate a fair amount of noise and dust so please keep that in mind, particularly when the work is directly in front of your building. We’re trying to reduce the dust as much as possible by increasing how often we water the work area throughout the day.

We’ve also installed temporary pavement on to the road to help to reduce the amount of dust created from construction activities. Please keep in mind that the temporary pavement is not the final design of the road and will change as work progresses.

Temporary Utility Impacts

Service interruptions will be minor; utility providers will notify properties in advance of any temporary service disruptions that will impact them. There may be temporary utility service interruptions; utility providers will notify affected properties in advance.

Tree Planting, Removal, and Replacement

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Please allow us to address any misunderstanding regarding the removal and replacement of downtown trees for the Wells-Williams Conversion Project.

During design outreach we showed renderings of the completed street intersections but perhaps could have been clearer about which trees were going to be replaced.

At the four downtown intersections reconstructed as part of this project, we plan to remove 12 trees and plant at least 22 new ones. The design seeks to maximize the number of trees at each intersection while avoiding conflicts with underground utilities, which are harmful to both trees and utilities. Street trees are being removed and replaced for many reasons, including to accommodate new utilities, make sidewalks more accessible, improve visibility at intersections and because the of the tree’s age or health.

Additional information can be found in our tree flyer.

Replacing The Tree in Front of Common Ground Coffee & Cupcakes

In response to community input, we temporarily paused removal of the tree on the northeast corner of S 3rd St and Williams Ave S.

We've been asked if it’s feasible to maintain the existing tree near Common Ground Coffee & Cupcakes, instead of replacing it. We worked with a certified arborist and project designers to re-examine if the existing tree can be maintained during construction and after the project is complete. Based on the following criteria, we confirmed that it is necessary to remove and replace the tree for several reasons:

  • Urban trees generally have a shorter lifespan and even without construction, the tree would likely be healthy and structurally safe for only around five more years.

  • The tree is unlikely to survive construction. Installing the new stormwater main next to the tree would likely sever nearly half of the tree’s roots, increasing the risk to nearby pedestrians, customers and buildings.

  • S 3rd St is narrow, which makes it impossible to locate the utilities elsewhere. Alternative utility installation methods are not feasible and would likely still jeopardize the health of the tree.

  • Transplanting the tree is not feasible. The success rate for transplanting a tree of this size and age is very low and would be very expensive.

When it is suitable to plant new vegetation, a new tree will be planted, along with others along S 2nd St and S 3rd St.

Additional information can be found in our tree flyer.

Related Downtown Projects

The Downtown Utility Improvement Project includes upgrades to water, sewer and stormwater utilities to address current use and support future development needs in the downtown core.

  • Upgrades are needed now because some underground pipes are past their useful life, in poor condition, lack capacity and/or require costly maintenance

  • Work will occur on S Second St, S Third St, Mill Avenue S, Morris Ave S, Whitworth Ave S, Shattuck Ave S, and at the intersection of Rainier Ave S and SW Sunset Blvd.

COVID-19 Resources for Businesses

Your Title VI Civil Rights

The City of Renton hereby gives public notice that it is the City's policy to assure full compliance with Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Civil Rights Restoration Act of 1987, and related statutes and regulations in all programs and activities. Title VI requires that no person shall, on the grounds of race, color, sex, or national origin be excluded from the participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be otherwise subjected to discrimination under any Federal Aid Highway program or other activity for which the City of Renton receives Federal financial assistance.

Any person who believes they have been aggrieved by an unlawful discriminatory practice under Title VI has a right to file a formal complaint with the City of Renton. Any such complaint must be in writing and filed with the City of Renton Human Resources within one hundred, eighty (180) days following the date of the alleged discriminatory occurrence. Title VI Discrimination Complaint Forms may be obtained from the City's website (www.rentonwa.gov) or from the Human Resources office at no cost to the complainant by calling (425) 430-7655.

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