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

Man shot dead after argument at bar south of Everett

Police say an employee of the bar shot and killed the man, who had opened fire in the parking lot.

Suspect sought in two Everett bank robberies

He’s described as 5-foot-10 to 6-foot-1, with dark hair and a goatee, and may have a neck tattoo.

They check tickets, help riders, sometimes get screamed at

13 sheriff’s deputies (so far) patrol Community Transit’s fleet of nearly 300 buses.

Three teens arrested for Marysville school vandalism

Windows were broken and a trash bin was on fire Sunday night at a Marysville middle school.

Alaska Airlines to announce Paine Field destinations Tuesday

The Snohomish County airport’s passenger terminal is slated to see flights this fall.

Langley mayor threatens newspaper with lawsuit

The mayor threatened to sue the paper over claims he withheld public records disclosure information.

Two missing men found, one alive and one dead

The man found alive was found in an apartment across the hallway and taken to a hospital.

Non-profit clinic hopes to serve 8,000 patients in Everett

The Community Health Center is dedicated to providing care for low-income and uninsured patients.

More help is coming for homeless addicts

The county plans to repurpose its former work release building in for use as a diversion center.

Most Read