DUIP Background

Downtown Utility Improvement Project 

The Downtown Utility Improvement Project addresses current and support future development needs within the downtown core. This project adds approximately 5,600 LF of new stormwater pipes, 8,000 LF of new and cure-in-place sanitary sewer pipes, and 3,300 LF of new water lines along these streets:
  • South Second Street

  • South Third Street

  • Mill Avenue South

  • Morris Avenue South

  • Whitworth Avenue South and Shattuck Avenue South

The project also includes the installation of a large utility vault at the intersection of SW Sunset Boulevard and Rainier Avenue South in order to facilitate access for maintenance and rehabilitation. The Renton Downtown Utility Improvement project map shows a detailed utility pipe layout of the project. Additionally, this project requires, where impacted by new utilities, the replacement of curbs, gutters, sidewalks and ramps.

This project precedes future improvements which will improve intersections, replace signals, and convert South Second Street and South Third Street to two-way operations. Additional street reconfiguration and streetscape improvements will be made in future years as funding is secured.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the purpose of this project? Why do utilities need to be upgraded?

The City of Renton is currently designing improvements for water, sewer and stormwater utilities in the core of downtown Renton. Improvements will address current and support future development needs within the downtown core. This project adds approximately 5,600 linear feet (LF) of new stormwater pipes, 8,000 LF of new and cure-in-place sanitary sewer pipes, and 3,300 LF of new water lines. This project will also support coordinated efforts by the City to improve intersections, add signals, and convert some streets to two-way operations.

This project is funded by the Utilities capital improvement program, essentially the water, sewer, and stormwater fees paid by Renton residents. The ultimate goal of this project, along with other downtown projects, is to invest those taxpayer dollars and create value for City residents and businesses. The value created by this project, along with other projects in the downtown, includes but is not limited to accommodation of more development and economic activity, landscape beautification, improved capacity, and reduction of flood hazard due to major storm events.

What is the timeline of the project?

Construction began in early spring 2021.

Construction will occur street-by-street and is anticipated to take place over a period of approximately 18 months.

What type of construction/work should I expect?

Utility upgrades will primarily involve open trench construction. Construction work will involve temporary but significant disruptions as utility lines are replaced. You can expect periods of large equipment and materials on city streets, traffic impacts, street closures and detours.

Temporary interruptions to water and sewer service may occur and will be noticed in advance.

Streets will be restored to standard city utility guidelines.

Additional street reconfigurations and streetscape improvements will be made in future years as funding is secured.

For information on current construction happening, refer to the “Current Work Areas” section on the project webpage.

What are the hours of construction?

Working hours are expected to be Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Some night and weekend work may be necessary and will be noticed in advance.

How will work impact pedestrian and vehicular access?

As construction occurs street-by-street, traffic will be maintained through at least one lane in the construction zone in most of the project area.

Improvements may require removal of street parking to accommodate construction equipment and materials. Properties adjacent to removed street parking will be notified. Pedestrian access to all properties will be maintained at all times. Residents and/or visitors may need to park their vehicles on neighboring streets and walk to their destination.

Limited and coordinated full street closures that may extend from the daytime through the nighttime will be necessary to complete the installation of the deepest or largest sections of utilities. Such closures would allow a quicker installation of such utilities and a shorter duration of impact to adjacent properties. Where full closures or nighttime work will take place, properties will be notified in advance.

At this point in time, the city does not have plans that show specific street closures. Specific traffic control plans will be put together by the construction contractor and will be subject to review and approval by the city.

Will there be high impact/noisy work involved, and what hours in the day would they occur?

Typical noise level from common construction activities include truck engines, truck beeping dumping material and excavation in the project area. Some work will result in loud and high impact noise from jackhammering. Loud and high impact work will be conducted as needed during the scheduled workday hours. Some work will be required to be conducted overnight. Noise will be monitored. We will work with the downtown community, including businesses, residents, and event coordinators, to consider how to best support you during high impact work.


How long will noisy and high-impact work last for during the day and project timeline?

As previously mentioned, noisy and high impact worked will be conducted as needed. Project construction would result in a short-term increase of noise levels within the Project area. Short-term noise from construction equipment will all follow the Renton Municipal: Chapter 7 Noise Level Regulations. The construction process will follow the maximum environmental noise levels as adopted by the city in reference to the Washington Administrative Code Sections 173-60-020, 173-60-040, 173-60-050, and 173-60-090.

What measures are considered to reduce or control noise impacts?

Construction equipment would be muffled in accordance with the applicable laws. Noise monitoring would be implemented to ensure that project construction remains in compliance with the maximum permissible noise limitations prescribed in Chapter 7 of the Renton Municipal Code. A noise variance would be acquired in the discrete cases when prescriptive noise limitations are expected to be exceeded.

How is this going to affect public transit stops and schedules?

Certain bus stops will be impacted along S 2nd St. and S 3rd St. The contractor will be required to coordinate their schedule with the city to allow for ample notification when bus stops will be affected by construction activity.

How will the project support businesses affected by construction?

We are interested in gathering information that will help us be good neighbors during construction and minimize construction impacts. It will be helpful for us to understand information such as:

  • Operating hours

  • Busiest hours, days, seasons

  • Access and parking needs for customers/employees/vendors

  • Other employee impacts

  • Delivery types and timing

  • Communication needs and preferences

The city will support the public with project information and regular updates through a project website, email updates, printed and mailed materials.

Pedestrian access to businesses will be maintained at all times.

What will the city do to ensure private property is protected during construction?

As utility improvements required the installation of underground infrastructure, such projects naturally include large volumes of excavation. The contractor and city will be monitoring settlement and vibration during construction. If settlement or vibration levels exceed the amount recommended by the project geotechnical engineer, the contractor will stop construction and city will evaluate changes to the construction method to minimize potential for damage to private property.

In the event that damage does occur as a result of construction, the city has prepared a written claim form for property owners to submit claims for further investigation.

What will utility improvements mean for connection charges for new development in the future?

Utility improvements will replace and upsize pipes to support ongoing and future development. This project does not include new connections. Connection requests will continue to follow the same permitting process.


How much is does the project cost? Where is the funding coming from?

Improvements are funded through the Surface Water, Water and Wastewater utilities capital improvement programs, which are in turn funded by utility rates. Total project cost is estimated at $11 million. These improvements and future redevelopment are expected to increase long-term property values in the downtown market.

How does this project relate to other ongoing public works downtown?

Wells Avenue South and Williams Avenue South Conversion Project. This project is under a separate contract but will be conducted in the same timeframe. This project will improve intersections, add signals, and convert both streets to two-way operations. Although both projects are expected to happen concurrently for 3-6 months, the City of Renton Utilities Division and Transportation Division are coordinating their efforts in order to minimize impacts of concurrent work.

Renton Connector Project. The Renton Connector project will install a continuous non-motorized facility along Burnett Ave S between S 2nd Street and S 5th Street via separated walkways, protected bicycle lanes (cycle track), and a multi-use path. This project will also include landscaped medians, reconfigured public parking areas, curb ramp upgrades, and traffic signalization improvements. The design is scheduled through 2021 and there may be a small portion of construction in the fall of 2021. The design and construction schedule may be revised or delayed based on impacts to the City from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Downtown Core Streetscape Improvement Project (born out of the Civic Core Action Plan). This project is at 90% design and planned for construction in 2021. There will likely be some coordination needed to minimize concurrent impacts. The project will include new sidewalks, lighting, landscaping and street furniture on Wells Ave from 2nd to 3rd. This project is phase one of a multiphase downtown improvement program.

South Second Street and South Third Street Two-Way Conversion Project. This project is not yet funded. There is no estimate of when it will take place.

Rainier Ave Phase 4 Improvements. This project includes transportation and utility improvements from S 3rd St to NW 3rd Pl and is comprised of two phases (S 3rd St to Airport Way and Airport Way to NW 3rd Pl). It is not projected to coincide or interfere with the DUIP.

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