EDITOR’S NOTE: This post was updated with a new graphic at 2:30 p.m. on Sept. 4: [caption id="attachment_89991" align="aligncenter" width="490"] Composite image of renderings forÂ new SR 518 interchange courtesy City of Burien. Click image to see larger version.[/caption] by Jack Mayne Gas prices may be going down around the nation â€“ but with the recent increase of 7-cents-per-gallon in the state gas tax, prices may be going up here â€“Â andÂ the hike will pay for an east-bound off-ramp to complete the existing half-diamond at the SR 518 interchange with Des Moines Memorial. The $15.6 million reconstruction of the existing interchange is scheduled to start when design is finished, and construction will be done by 2017. The work willÂ make the interchange a full diamond, which will include a ramp, a bridge over 8thÂ Ave South, storm drains, lighting andÂ improvements for pedestrians. A recent sale of property by the city of Burien and a federal grant to the Port of Seattle for improving the so-called Port-owned land under the airport flight paths, called the Northeast Redevelopment Area, will mean the property of abandoned buildings will likely become a new industrial area. The interchange will handle additional commercial traffic expected as the Northeast Redevelopment Area develops. Gas tax at work With state gas taxes now up to 44.5 cents a gallon, adding in the current federal gas tax of 18.4 cents, the total per gallon gas tax in Washington is now 62.9 cents. The state increase was part of a $16 billion, 16-year transportation revenue package approved by the in August by the Washington Legislature. The city says the $2.1 million project design is 90 percent finished and already paid for, with $300,000 coming from Burien taxpayers, $250,000 from the state and the rest from federal sources. The $13.5 million construction cost comes entirely from gas tax funds, with the state allocating $1.5 million in the current biennium and the remaining $12 million slated to come early in the 2017 â€“ 2019 biennium. The city says right of way between 8thÂ Ave South and Des Moines Memorial Drive still has to be purchased before construction can begin in 2017.]]>
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