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City and county transportation projects shine as “best of the best”

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Date:  Tuesday, October 02, 2012

Contact: Kathleen Davis, Highways and Local Programs director, 360-705-7871

WSDOT and FHWA announce 2012 Excellence Award winners

OLYMPIA – Revitalizing a crumbling downtown core, building a roundabout, creating a safe walkway and updating a busy county road – these were the transportation improvements that earned the nod as this year’s “best of the best” in city and county projects.

The cities of Maple Valley, Liberty Lake and Castle Rock, along with Chelan County, are being recognized for achieving project excellence. The Washington State Department of Transportation and the Federal Highway Administration today announced the local agencies’ projects as the 2012 Award of Excellence winners.

“The real winners here are the communities and people who benefit from these transportation improvements,” said Kathleen Davis, WSDOT Highways and Local Programs director.

The projects were evaluated based on safety enhancements, construction, innovative design, environmental sustainability and community involvement. The award categories and winning projects are:

Best city project award – Maple Valley, Witte Road and 248th Street Southeast intersection improvements
The city of Maple Valley transformed a busy street intersection into a safer, more accessible facility by building a roundabout. The new roundabout includes sidewalks, bike lanes, street lights and trail access to support the growth of the Lake Wilderness area and its neighbors. A strong partnership between the city, its residents and local community organizations was vital to the success of the project. Maple Valley’s city council will be presented with the award during its Oct. 8 meeting.

Best county project award – Chelan County, Eagle Creek Road
Eagle Creek Road, northeast of Leavenworth in Chelan County, serves residents, schools, the timber industry and visitors to the Wenatchee National Forest and Eagle Creek Valley. Chelan County brought a narrow, three-plus-mile section of road up to standards by widening it to 26 feet, giving it an all-weather surface, relocating utilities and improving intersections. This project was done in partnership with Western Federal Lands and the County Road Administration Board. Chelan County will be presented with their award on Nov. 14 at the Washington State Association of Counties conference in Wenatchee.

Best special project award – Liberty Lake, Valleyway pedestrian access improvements
Liberty Lake’s Valleyway Pedestrian Access Improvement project provides a new elevated sidewalk for safe pedestrian travel for users of all ages. Prior to construction, a pedestrian’s only choice was to walk along the edge of a narrow, steep, tightly curved stretch of road. Crews built a new elevated sidewalk on top of a reinforced earth wall, reducing the risk of car-pedestrian collisions. The new sidewalk provides access to the existing Liberty Lake pathway system, and is particularly useful for residents and school-aged children living in the Ridgeview Estates neighborhood of Liberty Lake. The city of Liberty Lake will be presented with the award on Oct. 11 at the American Public Works Association conference in Spokane.

Director’s award – Castle Rock, Cowlitz Street West
This project revitalized Castle Rock’s downtown core while maintaining access to local businesses. With the structural life of streets, curbs, and sidewalks quickly coming to an end, city staff and elected officials chose to revamp their aging downtown infrastructure. They rebuilt six city blocks in the downtown core, replaced underground utilities and installed new sidewalks, pedestrian crossings, concrete intersections, and new historical reproduction light posts. The project has been well received by the community and enhances visitors’ experience to Castle Rock’s downtown core. The award will be presented Oct. 22 during the Castle Rock council meeting.

WSDOT’s Highways and Local Programs division provides educational, technical and financial support to help local agencies achieve their transportation goals. 


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