Houghton transfer station roof improvement and mitigation project
Project of the year!
The American Public Works Association’s Washington State Chapter awarded the Houghton Transfer Station Roof Improvement and Mitigation Project the Project of the Year Award in the category “Structures Less than $5 Million.” The award recognizes excellence in management and administration of public works projects.
The Houghton Transfer Station, which was constructed in the mid-1960s, is located at 11727 N.E. 60th St. in Kirkland, on 8.4 acres at the south end of the closed Houghton Landfill. The Solid Waste Division has recommended closing the Houghton Transfer Station and building a new station elsewhere in northeast King County. A new transfer station will take about eight years to complete - from siting and design, to permitting and construction.
The safety and mitigation improvements completed at the station will enable the division to operate the station safely, efficiently, and with less impact on our neighbors and surrounding community until a new facility can be built.
This list of projects completed at the Houghton station was developed with the City of Kirkland:
- Transfer building roof strengthened and raised;
- Sound barrier wall installed on the west side of the station;
- Pedestrian pathway constructed on the north side of Northeast 60th Street between 116th Avenue Northeast and 120th Avenue Northeast;
- Reconfigured trailer parking area;
- Improved wastewater collection system; and
- Improved erosion control, lighting, and traffic flow.
The facility suffered repeated structural damage from large commercial collection vehicles that hit the roof trusses while unloading. At more than 40 years old, the roof was not designed to provide the vertical clearance needed for the type and size of garbage trucks in use today. The roof structure was strengthened, raised by nine feet, painted, and seismically upgraded to comply with current building codes. The roof’s vertical clearance is now 25 feet, enough room for commercial garbage trucks to unload without hitting the roof. In addition, four of the 20 existing interior columns were removed to improve maneuverability within the facility.
A large screening wall depicting a natural forest image similar to the forest at Bridle Trails State Park will be installed on the south side of the transfer building by the end of June. The screening wall, which will be visible from Northeast 60th Street, will help block wind, control litter and screen views of station operations.
A sound wall to help reduce noise generated at the transfer station was built along the western property boundary. The trail that runs along the west side of that wall was upgraded with a new gravel base layer.
A pedestrian pathway was built in front of the station that is similar to the asphalt pathway west of Ben Franklin Elementary School. The pathway is five feet wide with a curb along its length and crosswalk markings across the driveway entrances to the transfer station. This pathway enhances pedestrian safety in the area.
The trailer parking area was reconfigured to increase the vehicle maneuvering area for transfer trailer trucks and to allow county staff to park the trailers two-deep instead of three-deep. This allows for safer, quicker and more efficient trailer movement. Improved lighting was also added.
Upgrades were made to the existing sewer pump station, including the installation of a vault to store contaminated storm water that significantly decreases the possibility of overflows during normal and inclement weather.
The steep earthen slopes leading into and out of the tunnel under the transfer building were stabilized to prevent erosion. Improved lighting and pavement striping were also installed.