Everett, railroad reach deal

EVERETT — The complete shutdown of a block of Broadway to replace a 101-year-old bridge appears on track to begin in spring or summer, a few months later than planned.

That’s possible now that Everett has reached agreements with Burlington Northern Santa Fe and all but one nearby property owner who could suffer disruption during construction. City engineers expect the work to take a year.

The 100-foot-long bridge spans railroad tracks between Hewitt Avenue and California street. From Broadway, drivers usually notice the bridge as a hump in the road.

The bridge’s only major renovation took place in 1931. Today, it carries about 40,000 cars per day.

During Wednesday’s City Council meeting, Councilman Ron Gipson questioned whether Everett should be paying for the work at all, despite years of planning. Gipson reasoned that since BNSF technically owns the structure, the railroad should pick up the tab if the bridge falls down.

“Once this contract is signed, this bridge is ours,” he said. “We’re not in the bridge business. We don’t need to acquire any more property.”

Five other council members disagreed and approved a contract with the railroad.

“The issue here is we have an agreement now to go forward and build a project that we have to build out of necessity in order to maintain a vital thoroughfare,” Councilman Paul Roberts said.

It is the city’s responsibility to maintain the four-lane roadway and sidewalks above the bridge deck.

The BNSF agreement was one box the city needed to check off before seeking construction bids. Another is making compensation arrangements with neighboring properties that will be affected by the work.

The city expects to put the project out to bid during the first quarter of 2014.

The total project cost is estimated at $12.4 million.

Everett’s share of the cost is $1.6 million, BNSF’s is about half that amount. The rest is covered by state and federal grants.

The construction itself is estimated at $9.3 million. The total amount includes related activity such as buying property and design work.

City engineers opted for a full shutdown of Broadway, rather than a partial one, to save an estimated $1 million and a year of construction on the project.

The city has planned extensive detours and intends to warn drivers well in advance of construction.

Noah Haglund: 425-339-3465; nhaglund@heraldnet.com.

More in Local News

Food stuffs for a local chapter of A Simple Gesture at Fitness Evolution, the communal pick-up point, in Arlington on Jan. 12. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)
There’s an easier way to donate to food banks

Grab a green bag, fill it gradually with grocery items — and someone will pick it up from your home.

Lake Stevens man shot by deputies reportedly was suicidal

The fatal shooting is the latest incident where someone apparently wanted police to fire.

Man suspected of robbing Rite Aids

Mill Creek police released a sketch Monday evening of the suspect.

Suspect: Marysville church fire ignited by burning shoelaces

The 21-year-old told police it was an accident, but he’s under investigation for second-degree arson.

Police seek witnesses to Marysville hit-and-run

A Seattle man suffered broken bones in the accident.

Tracking device leads police to bank robbery suspect

The man walked into a Wells Fargo around 3:15 Tuesday and told the teller he had a bomb.

Mayor, others break ground on low-barrier housing in Everett

Somers: The complex is expected to save lives and “really shows the heart of this community.”

Volunteers conduct annual count of homeless population

They worked througha standard set of questions to learn why people have ended up where they are.

Most Read