Marysville sets legislative goals for 2020

With the new year comes a new legislative session beginning Jan. 13. The City Council and I have been successful in obtaining state funding for projects important to our community. We are grateful for these partnerships with legislators who represent the Marysville area.

I believe much of our city’s success can be attributed to taking the long view, establishing city priorities, and articulating our vision and need consistently over time. In many cases, we have spent years by first introducing the public need for a Marysville project and then later repeating and adding details to that message. Many Marysville trails, parks and other projects are here now because state funding helped make them happen.

The state also included huge transportation projects for funding through its Connecting Washington package. These include $14 million for the 116th Street I-5 interchange expansion; $50 million for the new I-5/SR 529 interchange scheduled to begin construction in 2021 and $34.4 million for its companion project, an extra northbound lane on I-5 between north Everett and south Marysville; and $42 million for a new I-5 interchange at 156th Street NE projected to begin in 2025.

City leaders will continue to stress the importance of these transportation improvements to Marysville residents, businesses and quality of life. City Council members and I will be traveling to Olympia to meet with legislators in the weeks ahead to review 2020 priorities for state funding requests.

Here is an overview:

•156th Street NE Railroad Overcrossing: The city requests $17.7 million to build an elevated roadway overcrossing the BNSF mainline tracks at 156th Street NE just west of I-5. This would replace a former at-grade crossing that closed about 20 years ago and offer expanded access to Lakewood-area residents and businesses. It would also complement the new freeway interchange at 156th that also will serve the growing Cascade Industrial Center east of Smokey Point Boulevard.

•Ebey Waterfront Trail: The city requests $500,000 to secure right-of-way to build the final phase of the trail. A 1.28-mile section along the dike through the Ebey Estuary would connect the First Street Bypass area with the existing trail in the Sunnyside area. When complete, the Ebey Waterfront Trail will have nearly six miles of trails.

•Grove Street Overcrossing: The city requests $24 million to build an elevated roadway over the railroad tracks on Grove Street between State and Cedar avenues. A 2015 study found this the most suitable overcrossing location as it would not take away access to State or local business entrances, and would require minimal property acquisition. Routing traffic away from the railroad crossing would help alleviate congestion and increase east-west connectivity downtown.

We’ll also be providing updates about the concerns we hear most often from Marysville residents – notably, public safety and transportation. Building relationships, understanding and trust is key. We have found that your government works best when we work together.

Jon Nehring is mayor of Marysville. His column runs monthly.