The federal government granted Tumwater additional funding of $1,296,030 for the right-of-way acquisition phase of a proposed roundabout at Capitol Boulevard and X Street on Monday, August 1.
The fund is a federal grant administered by the Thurston Regional Planning Council. It is the third and final grant awarded to Tumwater for the project’s right-of-way phase, bringing the total federal funding for this phase to $2,432,000, with an additional $379,561 provided by the city.
According to its project prospectus, the roundabout is a 56-feet, five-lane road and is the fourth project derived from the Capitol Boulevard Corridor Study.
Tumwater’s transportation and engineering director Brandon Hicks said that the improvements in Capitol Boulevard aim to address several issues.
“Some of the primary purposes of the corridor improvements… include congestion relief, safety, the additional bike lanes and improvements to pedestrian facilities, neighborhood interconnectivity, improved access to community businesses and services,” Hicks said at the city council meeting Monday.
Part of the project is a proposed connection road on 7th Avenue to provide an alternative route for people living on X Street when construction for the roundabout begins.
The roundabout is currently in its design phase, which is 60% complete, according to Hicks. The design work is funded by a $1.056 million state grant through the Washington State Department of Transportation’s Pedestrian and Bicycle program, with an additional $264,400 from Tumwater.
The right-of-way acquisition phase is set to begin after the completion of the design by the end of this year. The second phase includes the partial acquisition of six properties and one full acquisition of a commercial property, which Hicks reassured will not be an issue.
“The main owner isn't completely opposed to [the acquisition]. They’re actually happy that they've got the other property, and we would essentially end up paying for them to relocate there, “ Hicks said.
Construction of the roundabout is expected to begin in 2024, with a cost estimated at $3.5 million. Funding for the construction is currently from Tumwater’s Capital Facilities Plan, but Hicks said they were working to apply for grants.
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