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News and Notices

Auburn Engineers Present to Statewide Conference on M Street Underpass Project

M St Underpass RenderingThis month, two City of Auburn senior project engineers were asked to speak at the 2014 Spring Conference of the Washington Chapter of the American Public Works Association on the City’s approach towards minimizing risks and lowering costs on projects and specifically to the recent M St. Underpass project that was completed in July 2013. The audience included city and county engineers, consultants, elected officials and others on this important City project.

This project raised particular interest due to the complexity of construction and funding and how they managed significant risks that could have impacted the region. Projects of this magnitude are rife with inherent risks that can have a substantial impact on cost and public confidence in the ability to deliver. However, the City’s approach which focused on anticipating, planning, and executing throughout project design and construction and helped get the M St. Underpass project get built on time and under budget.

The 16-month project constructed a new underpass has helped improve traffic flow and safety for vehicles, pedestrians, and bikes and also helped address projected traffic impacts from increased use of the BNSF Stampede Pass line.

“I’m proud of how our staff was able to successfully bring this project to completion and navigate the needs of our multiple stake holders and ultimately improve our traffic flow on this major roadway with professionalism, creativity and a lot of hard work,” said Auburn Mayor Nancy Backus.

The City secured the $22 million funding from multiple sources including contributions from the Port of Seattle, Port of Tacoma, BNSF Railway, the Washington State Transportation Improvement Board (TIB), the Washington State Freight Mobility and Strategic Investment Board (FMSIB), the Washington State Public Works Trust Fund Board, federal grants, King County Department of Natural Resource and Parks – Wastewater Treatment Division, and City transportation funds.

“The M St. Underpass Project was a project with political, financial, logistical and engineering challenges and opportunities that was many years in the making,” stated Ingrid Gaub, City Engineer and Assistant Director of Engineering Services. “Jacob and Ryan’s presentation helped other communities understand approaches that they can take to deal with similarly complex projects.”

About APWA
The Washington Chapter of the American Public Works Association (APWA) is one of 67 local chapters in the US and Canada. The Chapter has approximately 1,400 members. Membership in APWA is open to public and private sector individuals, agencies, and companies interested and involved in the delivery of public works goods, projects and services.