The Newport Way corridor project is a multi-year capital improvement project consisting of Design, Environmental Permitting, Right-of-Way Acquisition and ultimately construction of a new corridor between State Route 900 and SE 54th Street. The purpose of the project is to:
- Improve pedestrian and bicycle facilities
- Improve vehicle access to neighborhoods
- Accommodate future traffic demands
- Maintain and/or enhance the corridor character
- Provide continuous improvements throughout the corridor
- Several years ago, the City was developing the Newport Way Corridor Concept at the same time that a developer was exploring options to develop nearby property (commonly called Bergsma) for residential use. The community input, at that time, was to ensure that there was pedestrian options on both sides of Newport. There was also a request to consider whether or not the Mountains to Sound Greenway multipurpose trail on the north side might be better suited on the south side, where neighborhoods currently exist.
- A corridor concept was adopted by City Council on Dec. 4, 2017. The adopted concept described in the Design Report (and appendices) was selected based on engineering and operational analysis, as well as significant input from the community. The concept includes pedestrian features on both sides of Newport, and left the Mountains to Sound Greenway trail on the north side.
- In 2018, the project design team prepared preliminary 60% plans for the roadway.
- In 2019, the City purchased Bergsma as an open space acquisition, and is now responsible for completing the frontage improvements (instead of the developer).
- The City completed a Value Engineering Study that indicated potential cost savings by removing elements on the south side of the road, due to the expense of constructing tall retaining walls in order to accommodate sidewalk and landscape features next to the steep slopes on the Bergsma Properties. The study also noted that besides providing cost savings, the recommendations could significantly minimize the number of trees that would be required to be removed when the road is reconstructed. Learn more via this presentation, memo and watch online.
- Since the City’s purchase of Bergsma, the community input on the design has now placed the highest priority on preservation of trees and the natural environment, versus pedestrian mobility. At roadway design open houses since the acquisition, the community has expressed a strong desire to minimize impacts to the south side and to delete the sidewalk, and to preserve the natural landscape to the maximum degree possible.
- During its Sept. 10 study session, the City Council reviewed a recommendation to dedicate a 10-foot wide strip of land along City-owned Bergsma properties as right-of-way for future Newport Way Northwest corridor improvements before Issaquah receives grant funds for the acquisition.
- Following council and public input from that meeting, Issaquah is now proceeding with designing the improvements without a sidewalk or landscape strip along the Bergsma frontage (but still including some space for utilities). This design will not require any right-of-way dedication along the Bergsma frontage.
- December 2019 — 90 percent design plans complete
- 2020 — Secure funding for right-of-way acquisition
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