A Kirkland resident speaks with Michael Cogle, deputy director of parks for the city, about plans for the picnic pavillion at Juanita Beach Park. Kailan Manandic, Kirkland Reporter

City discusses traffic, construction and more at Finn Hill meeting

Community members gathered at Finn Hill Middle School on Oct. 25 to hear officials discuss emergency response in Finn Hill, traffic safety, ongoing traffic projects and new structures at Juanita Beach Park.

The Finn Hill Neighborhood Alliance meeting hosted about 20 residents who voiced their questions and concerns during city staff presentations. Council members, Toby Nixon and Jon Pascal also attended the meeting along with several city staff.

Christian Knight, Kirkland’s neighborhood services outreach coordinator, led the meeting and introduced fire chief Joe Sanford to talk about Fire Station 25 renovations and their relocation.

Station 25 on 76th Place Northeast is 43 years old and has never been remodeled. The renovations will retrofit the station for modern earthquake, mechanical, plumbing and electrical standards and improve firefighters’ workplace health.

The project has already begun and is expected to be completed by July 2018. Emergency responders will relocate to Fire Station 24 on 84th Avenue Northeast, which will not interfere with their target response times of about four minutes, according to Sanford. At most, the move will add about 30 seconds, he said.

The renovations will not affect road access and will take place between 7 a.m. and 6 p.m., Sanford said.

Knight then spoke on the Juanita Drive Quick Wins project, which recently completed 10 major improvements in the Juanita Drive corridor between Juanita Village and the northern city limits on Finn Hill.

Improvements include a left-turn pocket at Northeast 138th Place; bike lane separation on 83rd Avenue Northeast, Northeast 132nd Street, Northeast 128th Street and Northeast 138th Street; a bike box at the intersection of Juanita Drive and 98th Avenue Northeast and a sidewalk widening at the north end of Old Market Trail.

These improvements are meant to make Juanita Drive safer for pedestrians and bikers. For a comprehensive list of all the improvements, visit the city’s Juanita Drive Quick Wins website.

Additionally, city staff updated the community on the designs for 100th Avenue Northeast improvements. They hope to have the design finished by early 2018, then pursue grants to fund the construction, which will optimistically start by late 2019.

Improvements include widening the street to five lanes along the entire roadway and implementing Intelligent Transportation Systems into the stop lights, which will improve the flow of traffic through better-timed green lights.

For more information on this project, visit the city’s 100th Avenue Northeast Corridor Design website.

The meeting closed with a presentation on the Bathhouse Replacement Project and designs for a new pavilion at Juanita Beach Park.

Michael Cogle, deputy director of parks for the city, spoke on the design to replace the bathhouse with a smaller, more efficient facility that will include several gender-neutral single stalls, year round. The current restrooms close during the winter.

The city will begin construction around fall 2018, according to Cogle.

Additionally, Cogle said the city is looking for community feedback on designs for a picnic shelter pavilion for the park. The new pavilion is meant to accommodate larger groups of 70-100 people or separate groups of 30-50 people.

The pavilion will include electricity and water and will be free to use for anyone unless it is reserved for another group. Anyone will be able to rent out the pavilion through the city.

For more information, contact Cogle at (425) 587-3310 or mcogle@kirklandwa.gov.

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