By Chris Winters Herald Writer
MARYSVILLE — A 15-year project to relieve a critical traffic bottleneck north of downtown is getting a much-needed boost.
The city of Marysville has received a $3 million grant from the state Transportation Improvement Board to widen State Avenue from three to five lanes between 116th Street NE and 136th Street NE.
This is the final phase of a project that began in 1997.
State Avenue, Marysville’s main downtown thoroughfare, is also known as Old Highway 99 and turns into Smokey Point Boulevard north of town. The first phase of the project, completed in 2005, widened the roadway to five lanes from 136th Street NE northward to Highway 531.
“It’s been sitting for phase two since 2005,” said Kevin Nielsen, the city’s public works director.
The city has earmarked $1.2 million of its own money toward completing the 1¼-mile long project, which includes sidewalks and streetlights. The project’s $4.2 million price tag includes money for engineering and right-of-way acquisition along the east side of State Avenue.
The permitting was completed as part of phase one of the project, Nielsen said, which was funded in part with federal money. There will likely be another State Environmental Policy Act review for the second phase, and the city is talking with BNSF Railway Co. because the work area includes an at-grade crossing of a spur line that serves industrial customers in north Marysville and Arlington.
The work schedule calls for bids for construction going out in the spring, with work to start in summer and be completed by December 2014.
There are no additional traffic signals or crosswalks planned for the stretch of roadway, city spokesman Doug Buell said.
“I think we’re good to go, which is exciting,” Nielsen said.
Chris Winters: 425-374-4165; email@example.com.