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"]SR518+DMMemorialDrive15 Composite image of renderings for 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 – but with the recent increase of 7-cents-per-gallon in the state gas tax, prices may be going up here – and 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 will make the interchange a full diamond, which will include a ramp, a bridge over 8th Ave South, storm drains, lighting and 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 – 2019 biennium. The city says right of way between 8th Ave South and Des Moines Memorial Drive still has to be purchased before construction can begin in 2017.]]>

Senior Reporter Jack Mayne passed away in December, 2021. In his honor we have created the Jack Mayne Journalism Scholarship.

10 replies on “Burien’s new SR 518 interchange to be paid for by higher gas taxes”

  1. Looking at the map I fail to see how this will become a full diamond, I do not see any proposed on ramp from southbound Des Moines MD to West bound 518. Adding a East bound exit only makes it a 3/4 diamond and will not provide any way to get back on the freeway to get to 509, what will they do, go up the steep hill at 148th, I think not.

    1. After the story was posted, we got a note from the city and you are right, it is not a full diamond.
      Burien said, “It isn’t a “full diamond” interchange, but an east-bound off-ramp to complete the existing half-diamond at the SR 518 interchange with Des Moines Memorial.”

  2. Interesting how there can be funding for something as unnecessary as this yet the whole area around the NERA still has no sewers. People are still flushing the toilet into their yards. Any businesses coming in will need to put in a septic tank.

    1. Major development projects are often responsible for upgrading infrastructure like sewer and water. Hopefully that will be the case here and then it will be feasible for neighbors to hook-up too. Although past experience tells me that a significant number of neighbors will resist because of the cost. It’s usually done as a LID which taxes the affected property owners with out a way to opt out.

        1. The article above says “which will include a ramp, a bridge over 8th Ave South, storm drains, lighting and improvements for pedestrians.”
          No mention of sewers.

          1. True enough, but if industry growth happens and sewers go in to support it, then pipes will become potentially available to adjacent homeowners. Of course a giant warehouse will not be on septic, and possibly not next door anyway. Sounds like a good time to sell to the development owners and move out.

  3. It’s an awful lot of money to widen the 8th Ave overpass for an off ramp to Des Moines Way. Oh, and pay $2.1 M for an as yet incomplete project design and buy the remaining properties. And, still no way to go from Des Moines Way to SR 518 west bound? The BIG NEW industrial developers are not going to want to go back the way they came?
    Is this project to be started in 2017, or done in 2017? I see both statements in the article.
    As far as sewer lines go, for anything other than the new industrial park, I don’t see it in the cards. We have been 1/2 a block away from a sewer line for well over 25 years. We were recently given a ballpark figure of $200,000+ to bring it to our property line. I was strongly discouraged by SW Suburban from approaching our neighbors about bringing sewer lines to our neighborhood. When I asked if SW Suburban would make inquiries about possible interest in sewer lines, as they have in the distant past, I was told they would not be doing that. They referred to a poor response to long ago inquiries, without any realization of how much differently sewer lines would play in the value of those properties today. Then again, if the port wants to keep the property values low in case they need to buy those properties, and/or the sewer district has no way to bill the properties where they put sewer lines in when they are bought out by the port, you can see ‘their’ dilemma.
    Looks to me like there is a group who has the use of this land all figured out and we will be seeing what that is, as it unfolds. I think the guys on this blog who told me to ‘forgetaboutit!’ and that our property is ‘worthless’, are about right. Time to move on and let Burien go the way of all so called light industry/capitalism. Money is their game and it blinds and numbs them to everything else.

    1. 10 years ago there was a meeting at a school to explain the proposed NERA to the community. Sewer Installations were brought up for discussion by several people. The people representing the City of Burien and the people representing the Port of Seattle had no idea there were no sewers in the area and they had no answers. There are likely many failing septic tanks and drain fields in the area contaminating the ground water. People actually run their drain field runoff down the street into the storm drain because their lots don’t have enough square footage to build new drain fields. It is appalling that the city and the port would rather spend money on this project instead of cleaning up the contamination and pollution.
      The Port of Seattle has not taken responsibility for anything in the 3rd runway flightpath. I don’t think they will be buying anyone’s property except maybe the houses that are in the way of the new freeway debacle. They won’t even replace 25 year old noise abatement windows and doors and the companies that made them don’t even exist anymore. The NERA is just a way for the Port of Seattle to get off cheap and the City of Burien doesn’t have to be bothered.

      1. This is not the only area in Burien that is on septic tanks. There are approximately 25 – 30 homes in the Seahurst area that do not have sewer lines to hook up to.

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