Federal Government Provides Additional Funding for Capitol Boulevard – X Street Roundabout

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By Jerome Tuaño

The federal government has awarded Tumwater additional funding of $1,296,030 for the acquisition phase of the right-of-way for a proposed roundabout on Capitol Boulevard and X Street on Monday, August 1.

The fund is a federal grant administered by the Thurston Regional Planning Council. This is the third and final grant awarded to Tumwater for the right-of-way phase of the project, bringing total federal funding for this phase to $2,432,000, with an additional $379,561 provided by the city.

According to its project prospectus, the roundabout is a 56-foot five-lane highway and is the fourth spin-off project from the Capitol Boulevard Corridor Study.

Tumwater Transportation and Engineering Manager Brandon Hicks said the Capitol Boulevard improvements are intended to address several issues.

“Some of the main objectives of the corridor improvements…include congestion relief, safety, additional cycle lanes and improved pedestrian facilities, neighborhood interconnectivity, improved access to businesses and services communities,” Hicks said at the city council meeting on Monday.

Part of the project is a proposed connector road on 7th Avenue to provide an alternate route for people living on X Street when construction of the roundabout begins.

The roundabout is currently in its design phase, which is 60% complete, according to Hicks. The design work is funded by a state grant of $1.056 million through the Washington State Department of Transportation’s Pedestrian and Bicycle Program, with an additional $264,400 from Tumwater.

The right-of-way acquisition phase is expected to commence after completion of the design by the end of this year. The second phase includes the partial acquisition of six properties and a full acquisition of one commercial property, which Hicks assured will not be a problem.

“The main owner is not completely opposed to [the acquisition]. They’re actually happy to have the other property, and we would basically end up paying for them to move there,” Hicks said.

Construction of the roundabout is expected to begin in 2024, with an estimated cost of $3.5 million. Funding for construction currently comes from Tumwater’s Amenities Plan, but Hicks said they are working to apply for grants.

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