From the Sunday Daily Olympian:
South Sound lines up for stimulus aid
Local funding requests: 12 from Olympia, 17 from Lacey, 1 from Yelm and 1 from Port of Olympia
“…And Yelm is clinging to hopes of $11.3 million to kick off the first phase of construction on the long-dreamed-for city “loop” project that would steer state Route 510 around the city core. State money to actually construct the Yelm project has been elusive; the project is aimed at relieving traffic at the fast-growing city’s core and open new corridors to its industrial area….
In Yelm, City Administrator Shelly Badger said the right-of-way acquisition is done, engineering and design work are complete, and the next step is putting out bids and hiring a contractor for the first phase of the $65.9 million Yelm bypass project.
The 4.5-mile project does not have state funding available any time soon, but it is a priority for the Thurston Regional Planning Council, Badger said. The first phase is from Mud Run Road to Cullens Road.
‘It’s bid-ready,’ Badger said of the construction work that could be put out for bid in May or June with construction to follow in ‘late summer or fall.”
The project would provide about 100 construction jobs, according to the data the city gave to the OFM. But it also would open a new route to both the city center and industrial areas needed for economic development, Badger said.
Thompson, meanwhile, said he is trying to damp down expectations for what kind of green might sprout on the federal money tree. After meeting recently with a local government group, he said, ‘They all think they are going to get money.'”
Mrs. Badger is not quite correct, as covered here recently in a discussion with WSDOT SR 510 Bypass Project Manager Dennis Engel, to whom I went to get some straight answers, since few come from the City of Yelm.
1. Regardless of what Mrs. Badger says, right-of-way acquisition is not complete according to Mr. Engel:
“We have been working on purchasing the right of way for the entire project and have acquired about 75 of the 105 needed parcels. We are continuing the right of way acquisition and hope to secure the entire corridor by June 2009.”
Mr. Engel is focused on the entire Bypass, while Mrs. Badger is talking only about Phase 1, a small section of the Bypass.
2. Mrs Badger says: “…engineering and design work are complete,”
Mr. Engel says, “We have been working on preliminary engineering and permitting for the entire project. We have now moved into the final design phase, preparing the plans for construction.”
3. Badger says, ‘It’s bid-ready,’ of the construction work that could be put out for bid in May or June with construction to follow in ‘late summer or fall.’
That’s only true for “The first phase is from Mud Run Road to Cullens Road.” That is called the High School Bypass option.
As stated here previously, the City has NOT been up-front with constituents, and as Mr Engel reported,
“Our current design work is focused in the area of what could be stage 1, this work is also needed for the entire project. The City of Yelm is working with the legislature about the possibility of splitting the project into stage 1 and 2, and changing some of the funding to construction so stage 1 could be built.
As you mentioned in your e-mail [from the Yelm Community Blog], one possible solution is to move some of the PE and Right of Way for the stage 2 area money to construction of the stage 1 work.”
Mrs. Badger, you well know the City is attempting to move all funding to a Phase 1 Bypass and just dump any funding for the rest of the Bypass to the 2021-2023 biennium!
4. Badger says, “But it also would open a new route to both the city center and industrial areas needed for economic development.”
Come on, you have got to be kidding, Shelly!
Having traffic diverted around the High School on a partial Bypass and then returning to Yelm Ave. West at Cullens, does NOTHING to alleviate traffic or as you say “open a new route to both the city center and industrial areas needed for economic development.”
Far from it!
The only thing you get with that is traffic diverted through residential areas onto an unimproved two-lane Cullens, where there is currently is no traffic light where traffic would return to Yelm Ave. West, and would force trucks and other traffic onto Coates Rd. to get to the city center & industrial area. I believe our area residents would not be pleased to see truck and other traffic through residential side streets with children playing diverted from a partial Bypass to the Inner Loop for a new route to the city center and industrial areas, such as you describe! Better to terminate your partial Bypass at Killion, which is a three lane, LID-improved street with a traffic light at Yelm Ave. West.
WILL CITY ADMINISTRATOR BADGER OR MAYOR HARDING COME CLEAN WITH AREA RESIDENTS ABOUT THEIR INTENT ON DIVIDING THE BYPASS INTO TWO PARTS & MOVING ENGINEERING AND RIGHT-OF-WAY FUNDING FROM THE EASTERN END TO CONSTRUCTION FUNDING NOW FOR A PARTIAL BYPASS ON THE WESTERN SIDE, WITH PHASE TWO FUNDING FOR THE WAL-MART PART OF THE BYPASS BEING LEFT TO CITY OFFICIALS IN 2021, BASED ON THE GOVERNOR’S PLANS?
THE USUAL SPIN AND INCONSISTENCIES WILL CONTINUE TO SPEW FORTH THIS WEEK!
OF COURSE, FEW CARE ANYWAY, SO THE CITY CAN JUST KEEP ON SAYING ANYTHING THEY WANT & DUPE THEIR CITIZENS.
FEW KNOW WAL-MART WAS APPROVED ONLY BY HAVING A FUNCTIONING BYPASS TO MITIGATE THEIR TRAFFIC WITHIN 7 YEARS OF OPENING; A BYPASS TO WAL-MART WILL NOT EVEN BE CONSIDERED FOR FUNDING NOW FOR AT LEAST 15 YEARS FROM THEIR OPENING!
HOWEVER SOMEONE THAT UNDERSTANDS CONCURRENCY [i.e. don’t allow an unfunded/unconstructed road to be used to mitigate traffic for an applicant, like Wal-Mart] NOW KNOWS; NEW COUNTY COMMISSIONER SANDRA ROMERO KNOWS ABOUT THIS ISSUE, AS REPORTED HERE ON JANUARY 24TH!
YELM’S BYPASS IS NOT LISTED ON STIMULUS WATCH.