Marysville leaders updated on historic I-5 interchange

MARYSVILLE – Design work on the Highway 529 intersection on Interstate 5 won’t be finished for another year, but city engineer Jeff Laycock gave an update on it to the City Council Monday anyway.

The project includes a northbound ramp from I-5 to Highway 529, along with a ramp from Highway 529 to southbound I-5. It also includes a northbound peak-use shoulder lane between Marine View Drive in Everett and Highway 528 in Marysville.

The 2015 Connecting Washington transportation package provided funding it. Construction is set to begin in 2021 and end a year later.

In giving reasons why the project is needed, WSDOT says between 1980 and 2017 the population of Snohomish County increased 137 percent. It’s expected to gain another 200,000 residents by 2035. That growth increased the number of vehicles using I-5 between Everett and Marysville, with around 65,000 a day in the northbound direction alone. Drivers frequently experience heavy congestion and long commute times. Marysville leaders have expressed excitement about the project because it will allow motorists to get into town without having to deal with train delays.

Laycock gave statistics on how long it takes to get from the Boeing Freeway in south Everett to 88th Street in Marysville at peak usage. Now, it takes 21 minutes, at 34 miles per hour. If nothing is done, by 2040 it would take 45 minutes, averaging 20 mph. If the shoulder driving and interchange happen, it would take 16 minutes at 48 mph.

To mitigate environmental impacts, after trees and vegetation are removed as part of the ramps projects, new wetlands will take their place.

Another part of the effort will include a ramp meter for those leaving Highway 529 and heading north on I-5.

The state Department of Transportation is looking into how the interchange can serve people who bike and walk on Highway 529 between Marysville and Everett.

In other news Monday:

•Laycock also talked about the Transportation Benefit District, a 10-year plan passed by voters in 2014. It provides $1.6 million a year for pavement and sidewalks. To make the money go further, it is often leveraged for grant funding, he said. If more money becomes available with the TBD tax we will be back with more projects, public works director Kevin Nielsen added.

•Mayor Jon Nehring said the city received $340,000 to fix Cedar Field for baseball, and $500,000 each for the future Mother Nature’s Window and Olympic View Park from the state Legislature. “It was a big year for parks,” he said, thanking parks director Jim Ballew for his efforts. “Our resolve paid off being frequent fliers,” Ballew said of the City Council’s trip to Olympia. While money wasn’t approved, the Grove Street overcrossing is still in a funding package, the mayor added.

•The post office food drive is Saturday.

The council on Monday will consider:

•A bid for almost $13.6 million for the 1st Street Bypass. And almost $480,000 for construction management for thebypass. Asbestos will be removed Friday from the lone house still there. It could be gone early next week, Nielsen said. “We’re excited to get this project going,” he said. “With this bidding climate this is the best we’re going to get.” •A bid for almost $1.6 million for the pavement preservation program. And almost $152,000 to prioritize projects with a pavement management system. “People always ask why we do which roads when,” Nehring said.

•A federal highway safety project of $560,000 to place speed radar signs on Highway 528 to get motorists to slow down. Also, for Americans with Disabilities Act ramps on 100th.

•$119,000 for development of ADA Transition Plan required by 2023 to receive federal grants. •Almost $225,000 for rain gardens on Cedar from 1st to 3rd to improve water runoff, gain parking and sidewalks near the Opera House.

•Closing out Phase 3 of the Ebey Waterfront Trail. More phases will come with additional improvements, Ballew said.

•Lake Stevens’ request to rent the city’s equipment for outdoor movies. Stanwood won’t as it bought its own equipment.