Capital Projects

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Capital Project Contacts:
Engineering Front Counter

Jacob Sweeting
(Assistant Director of Engineering Services/City Engineer)
Luis Barba
(Project Engineer)
Kim Truong
(Project Engineer)
Jai Carter
(Project Engineer)
Ryan Vondrak
(Capital & Construction Engineering Manager)
Matt Larson 
(Senior Project Engineer)
Seth Loop
(Construction Manager)
Seth Wickstrom 
(Project Engineer)
Jeff Bender
(Project Engineer)

Featured Capital Project:

Auburn Way North and 1st Street NE Signal Replacement


Project Description 

The main objective of this project is to replace the aging traffic signal system, one of the City’s oldest, at the intersection of Auburn Way North and 1st Street NE, which has exceeded its useful life. In addition to replacing the traffic signal, this project will improve pedestrian and vehicle safety by upgrading the curb ramps to meet the Americans with Disability Act (ADA) accessibly requirements and installing traffic calming measures. Vehicle capacity will also be improved at this intersection by adding left turn only lanes in both directions of 1st Street NE approaching the intersection with Auburn Way North.

Project Benefits



Curb extensions (bulb-outs) are an industry standard for reducing vehicle speeds. Curb extensions also provide a larger pedestrian refuge area by increasing the distance pedestrians are from vehicle traffic and shortens the length of the crosswalks, reducing the pedestrians’ exposure to vehicles.

Consistent Downtown Appearance

Constructing this intersection based on established aesthetic guidelines for the Downton Urban Center (DUC) will give this downtown area a face lift and be consistent with other recently completed capital improvement and private development projects within the DUC.

Coordinating with Other Projects in the Vicinity

Auburn Way North is a highly used corridor by both vehicles and pedestrians. This area has and will continue to see an increase in public and private investments. Several current and future improvement projects are planned in the vicinity of the Auburn Way North and 1st Street NE intersection: 

Auburn Way North Preservation Phase 3 (CP1904) – Roadway preservation project that is currently in construction; Lead Service Line Replacement (CP1922) – Water utility improvement project that is currently being designed; King County Metro Rapid Ride – Currently in planning phase.

Coordination with these projects are ongoing. The goal of this coordination effort is to complete any improvements that would impact the new pavement surface associated with the Auburn Way North Preservation Phase 3 project (CP1904) before that pavement is in place. Although some impacts to the new pavement are inevitable, certain improvements have been expedited to minimize those impacts. For example, CP1904 will install underground electrical conduit and storm drainage improvements that cross Auburn Way North. 

Proposed Improvements

The City has established specific design aesthetic standards for the Downtown Urban Center (DUC). These DUC standards have specific requirements for the type, shape, and size of material to be used. The main components of the intersection that will be unique include the traffic signal system, sidewalk paving pattern, street corners, and crosswalks.

New Traffic Signal System

The traffic signal poles will be special decorative style and powder coated black matching others in the downtown area that have been installed in the recent past.

Decorative Signal Pole Example

Decorative Signal Pole Example

Sidewalk Paving Pattern, Street Corners, and Crosswalks

Sidewalks will be constructed using concrete with 2 foot by 2 foot scoring pattern and a light broom finish, the sidewalks surrounding the curb ramps at the street corners will be constructed using red brick pavers, and the crosswalk will be concrete with the same 2 foot by 2 foot scoring pattern as the sidewalk.  

Street Corner Example

Street Corner Example

Traffic Calming

Curb extensions, known as bulb-outs, will be installed as a traffic calming measure. The curb extensions also allow more area to construct curb ramps that meet ADA accessibility requirements as well as install the traffic signal poles within the existing City Right of Way, without needing to obtain property from surrounding properties.  

Traffic Calming Example

Traffic Calming Example

Existing Condition

The existing traffic signal system is one of the oldest in the City and has exceeded its useful life. In addition, the curb ramps, sidewalks, and other pedestrian facilities are not ADA compliant. Signal poles are located in the sidewalk and do not provide adequate clearance for wheelchairs; curb ramp slopes and the pedestrian signal systems do not meet ADA standards and need to be replaced.

Existing Pedestrian Facilities and Traffic Sign

Existing Pedestrian Facilities and Traffic Signal System

Project Costs and Funding

The estimated cost of this project is $1.34 Million and is fully funded by the City. The funds will be sourced from Arterial Street and Arterial Preservation funds as well as Storm Drainage Utility funds.  

Project Schedule

The design of this project is currently underway. The City will complete the design and prepare for advertisement by the end of 2020. It is anticipated that the project will begin construction during the summer of 2021 and be completed by the end of the year. 

Who to contact for more information?

For more information on this project, please contact Matthew Larson, P.E., Senior Project Engineer at 253-804-5032 or via email at