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

Load up: Cheesecake Factory plans Lynnwood location

The chain restaurant is listed as a tenant in new development at Alderwood mall.

Sound Transit funding splits lawmakers trying to cut car tab fees

With the legislative session set to end March 8, pressure is building for action.

What to do when you get pulled over

Don’t forget to be considerate so officers will know you are not a threat to their safety.

Suspected drunk driver crash in Bothell sends two to hospital

The man suspected of causing the Saturday afternoon collision was not injured.

Finalists for EdCC presidency holding campus meetings

A search committee reviewed 19 applicants and recommended three finalists to the Board of Trustees.

Herald photos of the week

A weekly collection of The Herald’s top images by staff photographers and… Continue reading

Everett coaches reaching out to teens about dating violence

Free training focuses on a known strength of coaches: Being positive role models.

Scattered power outages around region after gusty Saturday

Up to 2 inches of snow could fall in some lowland areas of Snohomish County, forecasters said.

Power outages hit north Snohomish County as snow covers area

There was no timeline for when PUD crews expected to restore power for 5,800 customers.

Most Read