Covington, Washington

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Covington, Washington
Motto: "Unmatched Quality of Life"
King County Washington Incorporated and Unincorporated areas Covington Highlighted.svg
Coordinates: 47°21′57″N 122°6′1″W / 47.36583°N 122.10028°W / 47.36583; -122.10028Coordinates: 47°21′57″N 122°6′1″W / 47.36583°N 122.10028°W / 47.36583; -122.10028
Country United States
State Washington
County King
Founded August 31, 1997
 • Mayor Margaret Harto
 • City 5.96 sq mi (15.44 km2)
 • Land 5.86 sq mi (15.18 km2)
 • Water 0.10 sq mi (0.26 km2)
Elevation 381 ft (116 m)
Population (2010)[2]
 • City 17,575
 • Estimate (2013[3]) 18,830
 • Density 2,999.1/sq mi (1,158.0/km2)
 • Metro 3,610,105
Time zone PST (UTC-8)
 • Summer (DST) PDT (UTC-7)
ZIP code 98042
Area code(s) 253
FIPS code 53-15290
GNIS feature ID 1510895[4]

Covington is a city in King County, Washington, United States. The population was 17,575 at the time of the 2010 census.[5] Prior to the 2010 census, Covington was counted as part of Covington-Sawyer-Wilderness CDP.


The area presently known as Covington was originally known as Jenkins Prairie. Between 1899 and 1900 the Northern Pacific Railway built a cut-off between Auburn, Washington and Kanaskat, Washington, improving the company's primary east-west route across Stampede Pass. Contrary to some sources, no railway personnel by the name of Covington were employed on this project. According to the NP's construction records at the University of Montana's K. Ross Toole Archives, the primary contractors were banker Horace C. Henry of Seattle, Washington, and long-time railroad contractor Nelson Bennett of Tacoma, Washington, the NP's prime contractor for Stampede Tunnel, which he completed in 1888. The project engineer in Auburn was George Allen Kyle. The NP's principal assistant engineer in Tacoma, overseeing both Kyle and Bennett's work, was Charles S. Bihler.

In 1900, during the building of the Palmer Cut-Off from Kanaskat to Auburn, the Northern Pacific installed at 2,850-foot passing track, a 700-foot loading track, a second class section house (which broke down to $1,000 for construction, $100 for an outhouse, and $50 for furnishings), a 24-man bunkhouse, a box tank and standpipe for watering steam locomotives at Covington. By 1908 the tiny village was home to the Covington Lumber Company, which had set up a mill capable of cutting 85,000 board feet of timber a day. No photograph is known to exist of the station at this site, apparently built after the cut-off construction. It operated on and off until the Great Depression and was removed in 1941.

A school district was established in 1937.[6] Over the years the area grew as an unincorporated area of Kent, Washington. Covington was officially incorporated as a city[7] on August 31, 1997.


The city is governed by a council-manager government consisting of a seven-person city council. Members are elected at-large, i.e., each is elected by all citizens of the city, not by districts.

Fire protection to most of the city is provided by the Kent Fire Department, while Maple Valley Fire and Life Safety provides fire protection to the remainder of the city.

Public schools in the city are part of the Kent School District.


Covington contracts with the King County Sheriff's Office for police services. Deputies assigned to Covington wear Covington uniforms and drive patrol cars marked with the city logo. There are currently 10 patrol officers, one motorcycle officer, one detective, and one chief assigned full-time to the city.[8]


With its rapid population growth since the city's incorporation, much of the city's income depends on the retail industry. The city's retail core is located along the SR-516 corridor. In 2006, new Covington downtown businesses included a new Walmart, Kohl's, Carl's Jr (taking over the former Dairy Queen building), and an Applebee's. In 2008 brought the newly opened Red Robin, Cutter's Point, Costco, and The Home Depot in the new shopping center next to Jenkins Creek Elementary School. Fast growth is expected to continue in the area due to the continued widening and modifications done on State Route 18, a major thoroughfare connecting south King County with Interstate 90. In 2009 there are many more big businesses expected to open, including a The UPS Store and Bank of America branch within the Covington Esplande (Home Depot) lot. The company who created the Covington Esplande (Home Depot) center is also interested in creating some new retail space where the woods currently are across from Costco. In 2011, the city's medical services were expanded when MultiCare Health System built a standalone Emergency Department in the same campus as their Medical Center and Urgent Care off of State Route 516 and SE Wax Rd.

Geography and climate[edit]

Covington is located at 47°21′57″N 122°6′1″W / 47.36583°N 122.10028°W / 47.36583; -122.10028 (47.365780, -122.100213).[9] The city is surrounded by Kent to the west, Auburn to the southwest, and Maple Valley to the east.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 5.96 square miles (15.44 km2), of which, 5.86 square miles (15.18 km2) is land and 0.10 square miles (0.26 km2) is water.[1]

Covington features a climate nearly identical to Seattle's, but with more extremes throughout the day and the year. Summer days average a couple degrees hotter than Seattle because of its location away from the Puget Sound. Also, winter nights will be a couple degrees cooler than Seattle's. Everything else is nearly identical (sunshine, precipitation, snowfall, etc.).


The city's principal arterial is State Route 516, known locally as Southeast 272nd Street or Kent-Kangley Road, which runs through the city on its west-east route from Des Moines to Maple Valley. The only freeway that passes through the city is State Route 18, which passes through the west side of the city on a northeast-southwest route and, with its connection to Interstate 90 near Snoqualmie, is a major route used by vehicles traveling between south King County and Eastern Washington.

Covington is unique among cities in the area in that it features several roundabouts for traffic control.

Public transportation is provided by King County Metro.

Regional Fire Authority[edit]

A Regional fire authority involving Covington, Maple Valley, Black Diamond, Ravensdale, Kent, and part of unincorporated King, and Pierce County has been an idea brought up for several decades. In 2010 Kent, Covington, and an area of unincorporated King County merged.


Historical population
Census Pop.
2000 13,783
2010 17,575 27.5%
Est. 2013 18,830 7.1%
U.S. Decennial Census[10]
2013 estimate[11]

2010 census[edit]

As of the census[2] of 2010, there were 17,575 people, 5,817 households, and 4,649 families residing in the city. The population density was 2,999.1 inhabitants per square mile (1,158.0/km2). There were 6,081 housing units at an average density of 1,037.7 per square mile (400.7/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 76.1% White, 4.2% African American, 0.8% Native American, 8.5% Asian, 0.6% Pacific Islander, 3.9% from other races, and 5.8% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 9.3% of the population.

There were 5,817 households of which 46.5% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 63.2% were married couples living together, 11.0% had a female householder with no husband present, 5.7% had a male householder with no wife present, and 20.1% were non-families. 14.4% of all households were made up of individuals and 4.1% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 3.02 and the average family size was 3.31.

The median age in the city was 34.7 years. 28.6% of residents were under the age of 18; 8.8% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 28.9% were from 25 to 44; 27.4% were from 45 to 64; and 6.3% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the city was 50.0% male and 50.0% female.

2000 census[edit]

As of the 2000 census, there were 13,783 people, 4,398 households, and 3,689 families residing in the city. The population density was 2,389.8 people per square mile (922.3/km²). There were 4,473 housing units at an average density of 775.5 per square mile (299.3/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 87.88% White, 2.44% African American, 1.02% Native American, 3.12% Asian, 0.22% Pacific Islander, 1.80% from other races, and 3.53% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 4.48% of the population.

There were 4,398 households, 52.2% of which had children under the age of 18 living with them, 70.1% were married couples living together, 9.7% had a female householder with no husband present, and 16.1% were non-families. 11.4% of all households were made up of individuals and 1.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 3.13 and the average family size was 3.37.

In the city the population was spread out with 33.8% under the age of 18, 7.0% from 18 to 24, 36.2% from 25 to 44, 19.3% from 45 to 64, and 3.7% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 32 years. For every 100 females there were 103.3 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 100.2 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $63,711, and the median income for a family was $65,173. Males had a median income of $48,134 versus $34,576 for females. The per capita income for the city was $22,230. About 2.1% of families and 3.6% of the population were below the poverty line, including 3.1% of those under age 18 and 5.9% of those age 65 or over.

Parks and Recreation[edit]

The City of Covington offers many services for their residents, including a fully staffed, year-round aquatic center.[12] Aside from the Covington Aquatic Center, which offers American Red Cross accredited swimming lessons and advanced level trainings (Swim Instructor Training, American Red Cross Lifeguarding), the city is home to eight (8) city-run parks, and one municipally maintained trail.[13]


External links[edit]