Construction on a stretch of Highway 99 is scheduled to begin Oct. 4 after the City of Edmonds held a groundbreaking for the SR 99 Edmonds International District Enhancements Project on Wednesday.
The project will provide improved illumination and create a visual gateway and enhanced visibility for the Edmonds International District commercial district in the area between 230th and just north of 224th on SR 99.
According to City of Edmonds Economic Development director Stephen Clifton: “The project was originally developed to implement recommendations from the City of Edmonds' 2004 study of SR 99, which noted the opportunity to provide stronger visual identity for a unique cluster of international businesses along this stretch of the highway. This in turn could encourage economic development and vitality within the district.”
The enhancements project has been in the planning stages since 2006 when initial federal funding was received. With additional federal grants over the past four years to expand the scope, the project is ready for construction and a contract is in place with Totem Electric.
The project elements include replacing 14 existing cobra headlight poles on the east side of SR 99 with decorative poles and enhanced pedestrian level light. Seven of the pedestrian light arms were created by artist Pam Beyette, and all of the poles will have banner signage identifying the Edmonds International District.
Pedestrian lighting with smaller signage on the west side of the street will lead south from the traffic island at 76th. A sculptural piece will be installed on the island.
“The project goals include improving comfort and safety for pedestrians and enhancing the overall aesthetics while creating a visual gateway using artist designed elements to identify the Edmonds International District,” said Frances Chapin, Cultural Services manager for Edmonds.
The $662,000 project is funded with federal highway enhancements grants.