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State to replace Ebey Slough bridge
MARYSVILLE — The 85-year-old State Route 529 Ebey Slough bridge served as the site for the Washington State Department of Transportation’s March 29 announcement kicking off this year’s construction season for Puget Sound.
According to WSDOT Northwest Regional Coordinator Lorena Eng, the existing bridge will be replaced by a steel, fixed-span bridge, with construction set to start in June and expected to be completed in late 2013.
The current bridge is 694 feet long, has a vertical clearance of 10 feet and a horizontal clearance of 110 feet, and has one 11-foot-wide driving lane in each direction, along with a 3-foot-wide sidewalk. The only state-owned bridges that are older are the Murray Morgan and Thea Foss Waterway bridges in Tacoma, both built in 1911, and the I-5 Columbia River bridge, built in 1916.
The new bridge will have the same horizontal clearance, but will boast 16 feet of vertical clearance, to allow marine traffic through. It will also feature two 12-foot-wide driving lanes in each direction to reduce traffic congestion, as well as two 6-foot-wide sidewalks and two 5-foot-wide bicycle lanes to improve safety and access for cyclists and pedestrians alike.
“This bridge was built in 1925 and opened to traffic in 1927,” Eng said. “About 17,000 drivers use it every day to commute between Marysville and Everett, and it’s reached the end of its life.”
The $47 million gas tax-funded bridge will be built next to the existing bridge, which will remain open to traffic during construction.
“I actually remember a time when this bridge was manned in case of boats,” said Donna Wright, who was joined at the event by fellow Marysville City Council member John Nehring and city Public Works Director Kevin Nielsen. “There used to be a lot more marine traffic.”
“We’ve needed this bridge many years, and I’m excited that it will soon begin construction,” said Marysville Mayor Dennis Kendall, who expressed his appreciation to both WSDOT and state Sen. Mary Margaret Haugen for helping make the project a reality.