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Houghton Transfer Station Roof Improvement and Mitigation Project in King County, WA

Houghton transfer station roof improvement and mitigation project

Project of the year!

Spring 2011

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.

Project purpose

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. 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.

Project description

This list of projects completed at the Houghton station was developed with the City of Kirkland:

Houghton Transfer Station Roof Improvement and Mitigation Project schematic
View schematic of areas that needed improvement at the Houghton Transfer Station.

Transfer building roof strengthened and raised

Erosion control – east slope of building
Transfer building with new roof

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.

Sound barrier wall constructed on the west side of the station

Completed sound wall
Completed sound wall

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.

Pedestrian pathway constructed on the north side of northeast 60th street between 116th avenue northeast and 120th avenue northeast

Completed pedestrian pathway
Completed pedestrian pathway

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.

Reconfigured trailer parking area

Asphalted trailer parking area – Dec 2010
Asphalted trailer parking area – Dec 2010

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.

Improved wastewater collection system

Installation of detention vault (top slab)
Installation of detention vault (top slab)

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.

Improved erosion control, lighting and traffic flow

Erosion control – east slope of building
Erosion control – east slope of transfer building

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.

King County Solid Waste Division mission: Waste Prevention, Resource Recovery, Waste Disposal

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