Kirkland ‘On the Move’ with latest project
Work begins on new downtown transit center, traffic improvements
Sound Transit and its partners broke ground today on the new Kirkland Transit Center on 3rd Street between Central Way and Kirkland Avenue. The transit center work is part of a series of construction projects in downtown Kirkland, dubbed ‘Downtown on the Move,' aimed at improving transit operations, as well as pedestrian and vehicle mobility, library services, and utilities.
The new transit center will replace the existing twenty-two-year old facility with improved bus bays and passenger shelters, enhanced pedestrian crossings, widened sidewalks, landscaping, bicycle amenities and public art. An entirely new roadway will be constructed along 3rd Street, allowing for all new utilities to be installed under the new roadway and facility, including sewer, water, storm water, electrical and communication systems. A new traffic signal and intersection, along with other changes to traffic circulation, will smooth traffic flow around the new transit center and make the area safer for pedestrians.
"The impact of this project goes well beyond downtown Kirkland," said Sound Transit Chair and Seattle Mayor Greg Nickels. "This transportation hub is a critical part of our mobility around King County and around the region."
"When it's complete, riders will be welcomed here into the heart of downtown Kirkland with a transit center that reflects our city's commitment to livable spaces, and a walkable city," said Sound Transit Boardmember and Kirkland City Councilmember Mary-Alyce Burleigh.
The new Kirkland Transit Center is part of a series of changes coming to the downtown core. The $3.9 million Kirkland Library expansion is underway, with the expanded facility set to reopen at the end of 2009. The King County Wastewater Treatment Division is also working on plans to upgrade its 40-year old pump station, including the installation of a new pipeline along Kirkland Avenue. Pump station construction activities are scheduled to begin in early 2011.
Kirkland Mayor Jim Lauinger remarked, "The transit center is a key part of our plans to create and inviting, functional, and most of all safe urban center and gathering place in the heart of our community."
"Coordinating all of the work under the ‘Downtown on the Move' vision is going to bring us a better product in the end," said Jane Hague, King County Councilmember.
During construction of the new Kirkland Transit Center, the eight bus routes that use the transit center will be redirected to bus stops on Central Way just east of Third Street, and on Sixth Street south of Fourth Avenue. This includes King County Metro Transit routes 230, 234, 236, 238, 245, 248 and 255 and Sound Transit Express 540. The new transit center is expected to open by the end of 2010.
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