What’s Up with That? Long-delayed 88th street upgrade slated this year

By Scott Hewitt, Columbian Arts & Features Reporter



I am wondering whether the long awaited and delayed reconstruction of Northeast 88th Street from St. Johns Road to Northeast Highway 99 is planned for this upcoming construction season. When the segment of 88th from St. Johns to Northeast Andresen was completed, now three years ago, an article in The Columbian stated that both segments were already funded. But, the remaining segment has been postponed for the last two seasons. Any information will be appreciated.

— George Etter IV, Hazel Dell

Good news, George. Just about one year ago, when you asked the same question in this space, the short answer was no. Today, the answer is yes.

“We hope to be under construction before July,” said Clark County public works spokesman Jeff Mize. Or perhaps as early as mid-May, depending on weather, Mize said. The whole project should finish before the end of 2013, he said, although it could spill into 2014. Depending on weather, of course.

More good news: Last year, we reported that the projected budget for this project had risen a little, to $17.87 million. But as of now, according to figures Mize provided, the price tag has fallen again, to $17.39 million. The project is being paid for largely through Clark County road funds ($6.85 million) and federal government grants ($4.92 million), plus local traffic impact fees ($2.62 milion) and state grants ($3 million).

All that will pay for a 1.71-mile continuation of the upgrade that has already been finished from Andresen over to St. Johns. This next section of Northeast 88th Street, from St. Johns west to Highway 99, will also become a two-lane collector with a center turn lane, bike lanes and sidewalks. (Small sections of this have already been completed, chiefly around the 25th Avenue intersection.)

You can take a look at some fact sheets and specifications on the 88th Street project at http://www.clark.wa.gov/publicworks/documents/2011-2016TIP.pdf, and at ftp://ftp.clark.wa.gov/pub (follow the link to “road projects.”)

Mize added that an open house is scheduled on this project, so 88th Street fans such as George shouldn’t miss it. It’s set for 4 -7 p.m. Wednesday, May 9, at Clark Regional Wastewater District, 8000 N.E. 52nd Court.

“We’ll be sending a mailer to the community,” Mize said.