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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)

Auburn Magazine Summer 2021 Issue
Feature Capital Project: 2nd Street SE Reconstruction Project

Project Description

Those who have driven downtown on 2nd Street SE near the Spunky Monkey and Safeway know that the roadway is in very poor condition and needs to be replaced. Reconstructing roadways in this condition is very expensive and often can only fit within the City’s budget with the support of grants. The Transportation Improvement Board (TIB) is a state agency that distributes vehicle fuel tax revenues to agencies through competitive grant processes. In the near future, those driving on 2nd Street will experience a freshly paved road as TIB has awarded the City of Auburn a grant to fund the reconstruction of 2nd Street SE between Auburn Avenue and Auburn Way South. 

The 2nd Street Reconstruction project will rebuild the existing pavement, repair damaged sidewalks, curbs, and driveways, upgrade curb ramps to be in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), install new street lights, and replace an existing sewer main under the roadway. In implementing the project, the City will also coordinate with Puget Sound Energy (PSE) and other utilities to relocate or remove utility poles to provide additional separation from the roadway and to provide an un-obstructed sidewalk. 

Street Reconstruction – An Innovative Approach

For this project, the City is pursuing an innovative approach towards pavement replacement that is expected to be more cost effective and result in less construction impacts. The City’s contractor will reconstruct the pavement using the Full Depth Reclamation (FDR) method of construction. The FDR method starts with the contractor pulverizing the existing roadway in place and blending it with the existing material beneath it (subgrade). The contractor will then remove enough material to accommodate a new pavement depth. Next, the contractor will add a stabilizing cement concrete slurry to the roadway base. Finally, the contractor will install the hot mix asphalt to create the pavement surface. Use of the FDR process will reduce the duration of construction, reduce the use of raw materials, and save the City approximately 20% to 30% in roadway reconstruction costs.

Downtown Urban Center (DUC) Aesthetics

The 2nd Street SE Reconstruction Project lies within the Downtown Urban Center (DUC) zone. Specific design standards have been established for the DUC zone to produce a uniform and aesthetically pleasing appearance to the City’s downtown area. This project will incorporate those standards as follows: Concrete crosswalks with 2’x2’ scoring pattern at the A Street SE and B Street SE intersections with 2nd Street SE, and new street lighting with decorative poles and fixtures. Examples of these improvements are shown in the photos below:  

Existing Crosswalk
New Crosswalk

Vertical curbs and un-marked crosswalks will be replaced with ADA compliant ramps and decorative crosswalks.

Existing Crosswalk
New Crosswalk

Street lights on utility poles will be replaced with decorative street lights.

Replaced Infrastructure = Lower Maintenance Costs

The new roadway will be constructed with the strength to support existing and future car, transit, and truck traffic. This new pavement will reduce long term maintenance costs to fill potholes, especially through the winter months. Replacing the sewer main will reduce long term maintenance costs and will help prevent backups and leaks. The new sewer main will have the capacity to support existing and future development in the downtown area. 

Project Costs and Funding

The estimated cost of this project is $1,185,000.00 and is funded by a Transportation Improvement Board Grant and City moneys (Arterial Preservation and Sewer Utility Funds).

Project Schedule

Construction will begin in the Summer of 2021 and will likely continue in to 2022. The long construction schedule is mostly attributed to coordination of Puget Sound Energy and other non-City utility relocation coordination. There will be times during construction when the roadway will be closed to general traffic. However, access to businesses will be maintained. 

Who to contact for more information?

For more information on this Project, please contact Jai Carter, P.E., Project Engineer at 253-804-5086 or via email at