The first phase of a long-awaited construction project to widen College Street and add a roundabout is about to get under way, according to city of Lacey information.
It will begin Thursday night when the City Council will vote to award the construction contract. The low bidder was Active Construction of Puyallup with a low bid of $5.9 million.
Once the contract is awarded, the project is expected to begin in May and last 340 days.
During the first phase, College Street will be widened between 18th Avenue Southeast and 25th Avenue Southeast, and a roundabout will be added at College Street and 22nd Avenue Southeast.
“The College Street corridor is identified as the city’s highest priority project in the transportation comprehensive plan,” the City Council agenda reads.
It also adds that “typical traffic delays can be expected.”
That might be putting it mildly.
College Street is one of the busiest north-south corridors in the city. The work also will take place in front of Mountain View Elementary, likely giving parents and school bus drivers a new challenge when trying to drop off and pick up students.
It also remains to be seen how traffic reacts to delays on College Street, and whether traffic will increase on Golf Club Road Southeast, or Sleater-Kinney Road Southeast through the Panorama retirement community. Both parallel College Street.
There’s also Judd Street Southeast, another potential north-south route, as well as Ruddell Road Southeast.
The city says the widening and roundabout will “enhance multimodal access, reduce speed, provide enhanced pedestrian access and improve overall safety,” according to the City Council agenda.
If you would like to hear Lacey City Council discuss the project, they will meet at 7 p.m. Thursday at Lacey City Hall, 420 College St. SE.