Christmas (and new tree) coming

Covington’s Christmas tree is gone — for now.

  • Tuesday, April 15, 2008 5:19pm
  • News
In its final year

In its final year

City will replace evergreen icon that was cut down as a price for progress

Covington’s Christmas tree is gone — for now.

City officials allowed the contractor that is building the street that will connect Southeast 272nd Street to Covington Way, thus providing access to Costco, to clear the tree that has been lit up annually during the holiday season.

But Glenn Akramoff, the public works director, promised that the city will replace the tree before winter this year and in plenty of time for the city’s annual tree-lighting ceremony.

“We knew this was going to be an issue, so we came up with a plan,” Akramoff said. “The reason it was removed was because to rearrange that (intersection), so that we don’t have the big traffic problem and to have that be a through street, that area had to be utilized. So that’s why the tree came down.”

The tree was cleared in early March when Northwest Cascade Inc. began work on the new road at 168th Place Southeast. The project will add a new three lane street on the south end, according to information provided by the city, and the north end will be fives lanes.

This project starts at the traffic signal at Southeast 272nd Place and 168th Place Southeast the moves southeast between Pier One Imports and Fred Meyer. It then turns southwest and will run parallel to the Bonneville Power Administration power lines until it intersects at Covington Way.

Part of the project will include a pair of roundabouts and one of those is being considered among the new sites for the relocation of the tree, Akramoff said.

“One of the first viable places is in the north roundabout,” he said. “It’s not very far from the existing (site) and can be seen from all of the same businesses. It will be a focal point of that area because it’s a roundabout.”

Akramoff said that the city will also be able close the road in between the two roundabouts providing a natural site for the ceremony without diverting traffic. This will allow more space for the tree lighting, which Akramoff said drew about 300 spectators last December, and there will be more parking available at nearby businesses.

This could also create some additional foot traffic as folks may arrive early and patronize businesses they park near or do some shopping after the ceremony, Akramoff added.

At this stage, though, the final location of the new tree has not been settled on.

The city anticipates spending about $2,000 on the tree but would welcome donations or corporate sponsorships of the purchase.

In addition, the new site will be set up with the right infrastructure so that plugging in the lights will be a snap, Akramoff explained.

Plus the plan is to buy new lights of the LED variety which use up to 80 percent less power and last significantly longer that traditional bulbs.

“We’re not taking away Covington’s tradition but we are thinking green,” Akramoff said. “And we’re looking for a tree that is a little more symmetrical.”

The new tree will likely be smaller and Akramoff said the city is looking to purchase one that is about 25 feet tall.

Covington officials are looking at this as an opportunity rather than an inconvenience.

“This is a unique opportunity to make it better,” Akramoff said. “We know that’s a big tradition, and a large number of (city personnel) participates in that tradition every year so, we didn’t want to see it go away. It’s a wonderful tradition for the community. Covington is changing in many ways for the better. But we want to hold onto the old traditions, as well.”

Staff writer Kris Hill can be reached at (425) 432-1209 (extension 5054) and

Talk to us

Please share your story tips by emailing

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) Please keep letters to 300 words or less.

More in News

Freshwater variety of kokanee salmon from Lake Sammamish. File photo
Encouraging numbers for kokanee salmon spawn count

Lake Sammamish kokanee aren’t out of the woods by any stretch, but… Continue reading

In this file photo, Tayshon Cottrell dons his graduation cap and gown, along with a face mask reading: “Wear it! Save America” at Todd Beamer High School’s virtual graduation walk recording on May 20, 2020, in Federal Way. Olivia Sullivan/Sound Publishing
Law gives Washington high school seniors leeway to graduate

Gov. Jay Inslee signed a bill that can waive some requirements for students who were on track before the pandemic.

File photo
Study shows Washingtonians exceeded ‘heavy drinking’ threshold in 2020

The survey suggests Washingtonians drank more than 17 alcoholic beverages a week on average.

Mercer Island School District first-graders returned to in-person classes on Jan. 19, 2021. Here, Northwood Elementary School students head into the building. Photo courtesy of the Mercer Island School District
Governor: Educators are now eligible for coronavirus vaccine

“This should give educators more confidence,” Jay Inslee said. Other frontline workers could soon be next.

Malden, after a wildfire burned down 80% of the town’s buildings in Eastern Washington. Courtesy photo
DNR commissioner seeks $125 million to fight wildfires

In Washington state last September, some 600,000 acres burned within 72 hours.

Washington State Supreme Court Justices (back row, L-R) Raquel Montoya-Lewis, Sheryl Gordon McCloud, Mary I. Yu, G. Helen Whitener, (front row, L-R) Susan Owens, Charles W. Johnson, Steven C. Gonzalez, Barbara A. Madsen and Debra L. Stephens.
Justices strike down Washington state drug possession law

Police must stop arresting people for simple possession.

In Phase 2 of Gov. Jay Inslee’s reopening plan, which was announced Jan. 28, restaurants can reopen at a maximum 25% capacity and a limit of six people per table. Inslee recently announced all counties will be staying in Phase 2 of the state’s reopening plan for the next several weeks. Pictured: People enjoy outdoor dining last summer in downtown Kent. Courtesy photo
Inslee: All of Washington to stay in Phase 2 for a few weeks

The governor issued a weekslong pause on regions moving backward, but has yet to outline a Phase 3.

Entrance to the Tukwila Library branch of the King County Library System. File photo
King County libraries will reopen in some cities for in-person services

Fall City, Kent libraries among six selected for partial reopening.

In a zipper merge, cars continue in their lanes and then take turns at the point where the lanes meet. (Koenb via Wikimedia Commons)
Do Washington drivers need to learn the zipper merge?

Legislators propose requiring zipper merge instruction in drivers education and in license test.

Most Read