Arlington adopts six-year Transportation Improvement Plan

ARLINGTON – The Arlington City Council Monday adopted the city’s six-year Transportation Improvement Program for 2020-2025.

The TIP is a master transportation planning document required by the state that requires local governments to list anticipated transportation projects and the grants and revenue sources sought to pay for them.

In all, the plan lists 48 projects totaling $120 million anticipated for completion over the next six years.

Of that, $37 million is supported by additional state funding and another $2.4 million in state Transportation Improvement Board funding, $10 million from developers and impact fees and $1 million more from the Puget Sound Regional Council.

That leaves $64 million unfunded on the project list.

“In order to get any type of surface transportation funding, federal, state or gas tax funding, you must file a TIP,” public works director Jim Kelly said at the public hearing. Projects are reviewed annually, with timelines subject to change.

Three weeks ago, city leaders took an even longer-term view of ascertaining transportation needs.

“We approached the update of our TIP by looking at the plan holistically over a 20-year horizon, overlaying where growth and development is likely to occur or occurring, targeting traffic issues, installing sidewalks and trails, and continuing our plan to repair and repave roadways that are in need,” Mayor Barb Tolbert said.

“Our investments over the next six years will primarily address our most challenging corridors in Smokey Point, Island Crossing, Kent Prairie and the area surrounding the airport,” Tolbert.

Among several safety and congestion-improving projects, widening Highway 531 (172nd Street NE) from 43rd Avenue to 67th Avenue is currently under design by the state Department of Transportation. The project is fully funded and construction is set to begin in 2021. The plan also includes a project to expand Highway 531 from 67th east to Highway 9 in partnership with the state and Snohomish County.

Additional projects would complete secondary access roads on 40th Avenue NE, 169th Street NE and 173rd Avenue NE, creating other roadways built as part of local developments that would help alleviate traffic congest.

In Island Crossing, Arlington is working with the state, county and the Stillaguamish Tribe to build a new roundabout on Highway 530 to the east of Smokey Point Boulevard. The city has installed a temporary signal on the west end of the boulevard and highway to make the intersection safer while a more permanent solution for the entire corridor, including intersections at 59th Avenue and 211th Place NE, can be designed and funded.

Here some projects slated for 2020:

* In the Kent Prairie area, the city plans to construct a new $2.3 million roundabout on 204th Street NE at 77th Avenue NE to address significant safety and mobility issues. The project is fully funded and will be built next year. Designs are also in place for a new signal at 204th and 74th to address significant safety and mobility issues. Funding is being sought for the $940,000 project.

* Near the airport, the city is increasing mobility for pedestrians and cyclists through installation of new sidewalks connect the Boys and Girls Club and next-door parks with the 188th Street trail, Centennial Trail and Airport Trail. To the east of the airport, developers are also adding a new roadway to help reduce traffic on 59th Avenue NE and 172nd.

Among developer-funded projects:

* As part of the Affinity housing project, $1 million for the 169th extension of a three-lane road from Smokey Point Boulevard to 38th Avenue SPB to 38th Ave.

* Tied to the PUD and Smartcap projects near the airport, $500,000 for the three-lane 63rd Avenue project, with additional phases to include extending a 12-foot wide multi-use trail for future development.

* $100,000 – 204th corridor improvements from 69th to 74th to include a three-lane road section with sidewalks and bike lanes.

* $140,000 – Safety improvements such as medians and restricted access areas on Smokey Point Boulevard from 172nd to 179th.

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