204th Ave SE Updates

The "Covington Connector" - 204th Ave SE
204thRoadwayMapWeb204th Ave SE starts at SE 272nd (SR 516/Kent Kangley Road) and goes north past SE 261st Place to the Covington Water District water tower. Extension of 204th Ave SE further north is currently underway as part of the required improvements for the Maple Hills Subdivision. As part of future development of the Lakepointe Urban Village Subarea, 204th Ave SE will be extended north and west to connect with SE 256th St at SR 18.

204th Ave SE is currently developed as a 22-foot wide paved roadway with several vertical curves. The roadway currently operates as a two lane local access street with a 5-foot pedestrian pathway on the westside and minimal shoulders on the eastside.

The Project

The Covington Connector has been broken into three separate phases for ease in construction. Highlights of the project include a signalized intersection at SR 516 and 204th Avenue SE, roundabouts at the SE 256th Street and SR 18 interchange, onsite roundabouts in the Lakepointe Development, sidewalks, street trees, and separated bike lanes.

Phase One - Beginning October 2020
The first phase of the project is the 204th Avenue SE portion which includes the long anticipated signalized intersection at SR 516 and 204th Avenue SE. The intersection will include an eastbound left turn lane as well as a southbound left turn-only lane. Southbound "right turn on red" vehicles may come to appreciate no longer being blocked by a southbound left turning vehicle. The approach to the intersection will become flatter as considerable grading will remove adjacent dirt mounds which will improve sight distances considerably. This roadway segment will extend past SE 258th Street, the Maple Hills Development, and will end at the subarea boundary. Street trees, lighting, sidewalks, bike lanes, and the removal of the “jog” at SE 264th Street are what we are excited about! 

The construction contract has been awarded to Scarsella Bros. Inc in the amount of $11,995,379.60.  The city  has brought Transpo and KBA on board to assist with construction management services and DCI will continue to assist property owners with making these transitions as smooth as possible. Groundbreaking for this project will occur on or about October 13, with construction beginning shortly thereafter. This phase of the project will take around one year, with the signalized intersection being completed near the tail end of the project which we anticipate to be at the end of December 2021.

Phase Two
The second phase of the projects include the SE 256th Street roundabouts at SR 18. Design is now complete.  There are a few properties that still need to be acquired and we anticipate this project will go to advertisement early next year with construction following.

Phase Three
The third phase of the project is the Lakepointe Blvd portion which exists on the old gravel mine. Millions of cubic yards of dirt have been hauled in over the last few years to reclaim this mine and provide the land needed for the Lakepointe Development. This section of roadway will complete the SE 256th Street to SR 516 connection and will begin the development process. We anticipate this phase starting construction in spring of 2021 with substantial completion of the Covington Connector by 2024.

In 2015, the Washington State Legislator awarded the city $24 million, split between the 2019 and 2021 State budget, for a project identified as the Covington Connector (204th Ave SE from 272nd St to SE 256th St.). Full completion of the Covington Connector is not likely to be completed until after 2021, based on current state funding.

  Tentative Schedule:     Design Phase - Complete in 2019 
Right-of-Way Phase - End of 2019
Construction (1st Phase) - 2020-2021
Construction (2nd Phase) - 2022-2023
  City Contact:    Robert Lindskov, City Engineer  

  Phone:    253-480-2467 

  Email:    blindskov@covingtonwa.gov 

Background on 204th Ave SE

History of 204th Street SE

204th Ave SE from SE 272nd St (SR 516) to SE 264th was established by reciprocal easements by the original property owners back in October of 1967 as a 60-foot wide roadway and utility easement for mutual benefit. The recorded easement states that the property owners or their successors will deed the 60-foot strip of land to King County at such time that the County will agree to received and maintain a county road over this strip of land. 204th Ave SE currently exists with a mixture of dedicated right of way and easement rights for access. Each fronting parcel has dedicated a consistent 30-feet upon development creating a 60-foot wide corridor.

What will 204th Ave SE look like in the future? click to view 204th Roadway Improvements
When the Lakepointe Urban Village Subarea (Hawk Property) is developed, 204th Ave SE will be extended north through the subarea and connect with SE 256th St. at SR 18. Design and the specific location of the roadway has not yet been finalized through the subarea. The Hawk Property Planned Action EIS also contains a list of city-wide improvements necessary to accommodate the development of the Lakepointe Urban Village which will be the responsibility of the developer to fund. 

Improvements to 204th Ave SE, between SE 272nd St and the subarea, will include a 68-foot right- of-way with a 46-foot paved three lane roadway section (two travel lanes, a center turn lane, and bike lanes), 5-foot sidewalk on each side, and a 5-foot planter strip between the roadway and sidewalk. These improvements are anticipated to be completed as part of the Covington Connector. However, if funding for the Covington Connector is not forth coming from the state, by August 7, 2020, the developer of Maple Hills Subdivision will construct the required 204th Ave SE improvements through their subdivision.

Additional improvements, such as a traffic signal at SE 272nd St and 204th Ave SE, bus turnouts, and center turn lane from SE 272nd St onto 204th Ave SE, will be evaluated and installed (as warranted); all improvements directly related to or impacting SE 272nd St are determined by WSDOT in consultation with the city.

When the Lakepointe Urban Village Subarea (Hawk Property) is developed, 204th Ave SE will be extended north through the subarea and connect with SE 256th St. at SR 18. Design and specific location of the roadway has not yet been designed through the subarea. The Hawk Property Planned Action EIS also contains a list of city-wide improvements necessary to accommodate the development of the Lakepointe Urban Village.

It is important to understand that the City of Covington does not control improvements to SE 272nd St., as it is a designated highway under WSDOT control. Citizens are encouraged to contact WSDOT with comments regarding this intersection and needed improvements.

Land use activities occurring along 204th Ave SE
Maple Hills 
At the north end of 204th Ave SE (up by the water tower) is the Maple Hills 243 lot subdivision: 

     • Phase 1 = 93 single family homes 
     • Phase 2 = 56 single family homes 
     • Phase 3 = 79 single family homes 
     • Phase 4 = 14 single family homes                                          
Homes are currently under construction in Phase 1. Phase 2 street improvements are complete and home construction is expected to start soon. Phase 3 has received Preliminary Plat approval and a Notice to Proceed with Improvements/Engineering (includes clearing and grading) was issued  August 8, 2017. Phase 4 is under city review.

(Phase 1 & 2 of this subdivision are vested to King County RS-9600 zoning; Phase 3 is being reviewed under existing Covington R-4 zoning and Phase 4 is being reviewed under R-6 zoning) 

Cedar Creek Parke 
At the SW corner of the intersection of 204th Ave SE and SE 262nd Street is a newly proposed 82 lot subdivision in the R-4 zoning district has received Preliminary Plat Approval and Notice to Proceed Improvements/Engineering was issued on August 8, 2017. 

Lakepointe Urban Village Subarea (aka Hawk Property Subarea) 
In 2014, the Covington City Council approved a subarea plan, associated code, and comprehensive plan amendments after extensive public outreach and involvement. As part of this review the city prepared a Planned Action Environmental Impact Statement (Planned Action EIS) to review potential impacts of the development envisioned in the subarea plan and identify mitigation measures. This initial planning work will guide future development in the 212 acre subarea as it is redeveloped from a gravel mine to a mixed use urban village. The subarea plan and Planned Action EIS looked at development that would include up to 1,500 housing units and 850,000 sq. ft. of commercial development. 

On November 21, 2016, the city received an application for a Development Agreement associated with a Zoning Map Amendment and Boundary Line Adjustment.  At the City Council meeting on April 25, 2017, councilmembers unanimously passed Ord. 02-2017.

At this time the existing asphalt batch plant is continuing operation and the Washington State Department of Natural Resources is overseeing the Surface Mine Reclamation Permit #70-011069(Black River S&G) they issued in 2016, which authorizes surface mine reclamation within the Lakepointe Urban Village Subarea. 

A requirement in the Hawk Property Planned Action (Ordinance # 14-04), is that 204th Ave SE will be improved by the developer as a 2 to 3 lane arterial between SE 272nd St connecting to SE 256th Street at its intersection with SR 18.