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Island Transit looks at future projects

With construction of its new headquarters near Coupeville nearly complete, Island Transit leaders are looking at future projects.

The Island Transit board of directors approved a six-year capital plan outlining the routes and park-and-ride lots that officials hope to add in coming years.

Though the projects are on transit officials’ radar, there is one crucial element missing.

“We don’t have the money to add any of those routes,” Island Transit Executive Director Martha Rose said.

The agency doesn’t yet have the money to add park and ride lots either, Rose added.

Even though there isn’t cash available, it’s important for transit officials to keep a list of potential projects. Then they can qualify for grants if they come available.

The updated list comes as Island Transit’s new headquarters nears completion. Staff recently moved into new buildings on the campus located on Highway 20 near Outlying Field.

The expansion project, which includes a new administration and operations center along with a larger maintenance bay, cost $22.4 million. About $17.9 million of that came from a federal grant.

The project list includes additional routes for the Langley area — the Langley Circular, $677,000; Langley/Clinton via Wilkinson Road, $697,000; and Central Langley to Freeland, via Goss Lake, $718,000.

Other potential new routes are extending Route 3 to Monkey Hill Road via Jones Road, $522,000; Houston Road to Freeland, $740,000; and North Oak Harbor Bay, $381,000.

Island Transit has purchased land for two additional park and ride lots, but officials are looking for funding to pay for them, Rose said.

Those future commuter lots are located at the intersection of State Highway 525 and Race Road and near the intersection of Highway 525 and Bush Point Road.

The six-year capital improvement plan has a couple of items that Rose described as “pie-in-the-sky” projects.

The first is a tunnel, called the Kinneth Underpass, which would allow pedestrians and hikers a safe passage across the State Highway 20 near Island Transit’s campus.

That project is estimated to cost $1.5 million.

Rose said Island Transit tried to obtain a grant to fund the project, but the agency didn’t get the award.

Another project is the solar skyway shuttle, which she said would be a demonstration project for a solar-powered skyway shuttle, that would be a demonstration of solar powered vehicles in the form of a pod car.

She said no money received for such a project.

 

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