Sahalee Way design contract, award to Republic Services on agenda for first Council meeting of 2016


Christie Malchow will be sworn in as Sammamish City Council Member tomorrow.

Update, 6pm: The Sahalee Way contract has been from the new business agenda to the Consent Agenda.

Original Post:

The Sammamish City Council, with two new members, will be asked to award a contract to design the Sahalee Way road project and to award the refuse/recycling/yard waste contract to Republic Services at the first meeting of the New Year tomorrow.

The two contracts became mired in controversy under the previous Council, which had approved the “Final” Design of Sahalee Way and which was poised to approve the Republic contract when stopped after rival Waste Management obtained a temporary injunction blocking action. This injunction was lifted Dec. 22.


Tom Hornish will be sworn in as a Sammamish City Council Member tomorrow.

The Sahalee Way green light suddenly turned red when objections by Council Members Ramiro Valderrama and Nancy Whitten (who retired Dec. 31) and The Sammamish Comment revealed a fast track approach that eliminated public participation.

The two new Council Members, Tom Hornish and Christie Malchow, will have been sworn into office only a matter of minutes when they will be asked to approve these two controversial contracts.

Refuse contract

First up will be the City Staff recommendation to approve the refuse contract with Republic Services. Sammamish Comment detailed last week how Republic’s rival, Waste Management (WM), claims its bid is nearly $7m lower over the 7 1/2 year life of the contract. WM claims the bid process was flawed, yet WM did not raise questions during the period provided in the bid process, but only did so after Staff recommended Republic and disqualified WM’s bid as “non-responsive” for technical reasons.

The Staff report for tomorrow’s Council meeting, beginning on PDF page 69, details why the Staff disqualified WM. Staff also concluded WM understated its bid as a result of not following the bid’s formulae and even if not disqualified, would have been a higher bid than Republic.

The contract is valued at about $6m.

Sahalee Way

This project is about widening Sahalee Way from NE 25th north to NE 37th.

The underlying motive for the road project is the increasing traffic and delays on the road, especially as traffic approaches SR 202 to the north or NE 8th/Inglewood Hill Road to the south during rush hours. (The NE 8th delays are really on NE 228th, the continuation of Sahalee Way southbound).

SR 202 is a state highway and from shortly north of NE 37th, Sahalee Way lies within the jurisdiction of King County, not Sammamish.

Valderrama and Whitten objected to the proposed project last October when the Council approved the “final”design because of the lack of public participation; questions they had over the design and cost; and whether the design would even solve traffic issues since it ended at the City limits to the north and NE 228th to the South–thus becoming a version of the infamous “bridge to nowhere” in Alaska that became a poster child of wasteful government spending.

This project is currently estimated to cost $14.7m. The Council briefing on Sahalee Way within the briefing packet begins on PDF page 45.

New Council Members

Whitten left the Council Dec. 31, retiring after three terms. Malchow and Hornish will be sworn in for the first time only minutes before they will be asked to approve these two controversial contracts. Each has received the Council briefing packet and may have had additional staff briefings. Each continues to have questions whether the Staff has adequately studied the problems and have come up with the best solutions.

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