Parking lot for Sammamish Landing comes in over estimate

July 31, 2014

By Ari Cetron

Council approves $2.07 million to build 35-stall lot

New: July 31, 1:19 p.m.

Sammamish’s wildly popular beachfront park will be getting a parking lot, but it’s going to cost nearly half a million dollars more than expected.
On July 15, the Sammamish City Council voted 6-1 to award a contract to build a parking lot and pedestrian crossing at Sammamish Landing Park. Councilman Ramiro Valderrama was opposed.
Sammamish Landing is the only public access to Lake Sammamish within the city limits. The long, narrow park runs between East Lake Sammamish Parkway and the lake along the northern edge of the city.
Sammamish also owns land on the other side of the parkway, where the parking lot will go.
The park has been popular since it opened, but has not had a dedicated parking lot. Instead, people have parked along the parkway, or on 187th Avenue in Redmond.
Last year, however, Redmond re-striped 187th to allow for bike lanes, effectively removing about 35 parking spots.
In response, Sammamish has done work along the shoulders of the parkway to allow for safer parking there. And its council has now authorized construction of a new parking lot specifically for the park.
The city had estimated the 35-space lot would end up costing about $1.56 million. However, as City Manager Ben Yazici pointed out, contractors are busy and costs are going up. As a result, the lot will cost $2.07 million.
The city expects to pay for it from the sale of nearby land (see sidebar) combined with King County Parks funds from a 2007 levy, supplemented with money from the city’s parks department budget.
Valderrama recognized the need for the parking lot, but thought the city should ask Redmond to chip in for part of the cost.
He reasoned that many of the park users are Redmond residents. He also noted the city will soon have a big – and not yet known – expense for repairing Snake Hill Road, and he would rather wait to find out that cost before committing to the parking lot.
Yazici pointed out that Redmond already donated part of the land on which the park is built.
He also noted it was a slippery slope since Sammamish residents routinely use parks and other facilities in neighboring cities.
“I know our kids play on their fields,” Yazici said.
The funding will pay for more than just the parking lot. There will also be a pedestrian crossing, including an island halfway across the parkway, to allow people to cross the street more safely.
City Engineer Jeff Brauns explained there will also be new electronic signs posted on the roadway on both sides of the park to keep drivers alert.
Construction on the lot should begin within the next few weeks. Philpot said the contract forbids working on the west side of the area, nearest the beach, until after Labor Day. As a result, it won’t be completed until the fall or possibly in early 2015, depending on weather conditions.

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