New overpass seems to do well in first Black Friday

MARYSVILLE — Loren Schireman knows how bad traffic during past holiday seasons has been at the Lakewood Crossing shopping area.

The Arlington resident has seen first-hand how cars backed up at the center’s main entrance at 27th Avenue NE and 172nd Street have delayed shopping trips and caused headaches.

“I’ve been in some serious situations here at the holidays,” said Schireman, 77. “You couldn’t get any place with people driving across the curbs and through the parking spaces.”

He experienced a much better trip Friday when he drove for the first time across the new two-lane overpass at 156th Street NE. The bridge that opened a week ago connects Smokey Point Boulevard east of the freeway with Twin Lakes Avenue and the commercial areas to the west and provides a second access point for the shopping area.

“There was no traffic on it,” Schireman said. “We turned right in here and parked. It was a lot easier.”

Amber Baxter, who lives in Marysville, was shopping Friday morning with her 9-year-old daughter, Lilly. Traffic can get backed up on 172nd Street at peak times, said Baxter, 32. She planned to use the new overpass for the first time to exit the shopping center.

“I didn’t know it was finished,” Baxter said. “That would have been convenient for us, but we went in the long way (on 172nd Street). We’ll check it out.”

The $13 million project is being financed by a local improvement district. Residential and commercial property owners in the district on both sides of I-5 are to cover half of the overpass expenses through assessments, while the city pays for the other half.

City officials wanted the bridge open in time for the holiday season to help alleviate some of the area’s traffic woes. Doug Buell, a spokesman for the city of Marysville, said on Friday that he hasn’t received any comments about the bridge, pro or con.

The bridge might help traffic flow, but earlier Black Friday store openings this year may also have helped, said Dale Tomb, who lives in Mount Vernon.

“We came in about 9:20 a.m. and it seemed like less (traffic) than normal,” said Tomb, 43. “With places now opening earlier and earlier and earlier, people are probably done by 6 or 7 in the morning.”

Carol Lee, who lives in Arlington, believes the bridge will have a larger effect on how shoppers travel in and out of the center as more people get accustomed to it being open.

“It will be a good thing especially for people coming from Marysville,” she said. “Smokey Point has gotten to be quite the little chokehold, because traffic is so bad, but once people get used to it I think it will open up.”

Amy Daybert: 425-339-3491; adaybert@heraldnet.com.

More in Local News

Bicycle tour raises money for dialysis patients

Volunteers also shared health information and put together care packages for homeless women.

Elderly couple escape serious injuries in crash with train

The driver drove down tracks instead of a road, hitting a slow-moving train near Stanwood.

Boeing reaches out to schools

Company employees helped Everett students at recent reading and Manufacturing Day events.

5-vehicle collision sends school bus into ditch; no injuries

No students were hurt when a school bus crashed into… Continue reading

Fire crew returns early from wildfires in Northern California

Four Everett firefighters returned from battling California wildfires late Thursday… Continue reading

Theft lands former insurance salesman 50 days in jail

A former insurance salesman is expected to report to jail… Continue reading

Pair of intrepid musicians climb N. Cascades summits to play

Rose Freeman and Anastasia Allison pack their instruments up mountains for high-altitude recitals.

Expect river levels to keep rising, though sun is on the way

Some could crest above minor and moderate flood levels.

Oregon senator punished over alleged inappropriate touching

Democratic Sen. Sara Gelser didn’t identify anyone by name.

Most Read