MARYSVILLE — A six-year plan for transportation projects was approved by the Marysville City Council on Monday.
The $404 million Transportation Improvement Plan, or TIP, differs from those in recent years because some projects are being completed and moving off the schedule.
“It seemed like it used to be the future TIP list was the same every year,” said Gloria Hirashima, the city’s chief administrative officer.
The tight financial straits now have loosened somewhat.
“We’re now able to move projects through because we’re now able to secure more funding,” Hirashima said.
The six-year plan to run from 2017-22 includes nearly 70 projects, some of which have been in the works for a long time.
The largest project is the $50 million I-5/Highway 529 interchange project, which would build new on-ramps and off-ramps south of downtown. It would provide people with a way into the downtown that avoids the at-grade railroad crossing on Fourth Street.
Passing long trains frequently cause traffic backups onto the freeway.
That project is timed so that the construction work will be done in the 2020-2022 time frame, concurrent with another large $34.4 million project, which would construct a northbound shoulder lane on I-5 from Marine View Drive to the Fourth Street exit.
That lane would be used as a peak-hour exit lane, to take even more pressure off the bottleneck caused by the railroad crossing.
Both projects, as well as others labeled “joint agency” projects on the list, are mostly if not entirely funded by others than the city, in this case the state Department of Transportation, which administers federal highway funds and other sources of grant money.
They’re included on the city’s overall transportation plan because the city is a project partner, likely responsible for securing some funding, and also because those projects need to be on the local plans in order to qualify for the major grants that make such projects possible.
“We always anticipated, even when it was technically unfunded that the bulk of the funding would come from the state, because it’s a state interchange,” Hirashima said.
In the nearer term, the city is expecting to complete two Safe Routes to School projects, which involve building curbs, gutters, sidewalks and bicycle lanes near Marshall and Sunnyside elementary schools.
Other projects expected to start moving forward in the coming years include ongoing pavement overlay work, a new three-lane widening projects on several city streets, widening State Avenue to five lanes from 100th Street NE to 116th Street NE, additional and improved turn lanes and traffic signals in multiple locations, a bypass on First Street downtown and a new bridge over the railroad tracks at Grove Street.
More information on the TIP projects is online at http://marysvillewa.gov/359/Traffic-Engineering.
Chris Winters: 425-374-4165; firstname.lastname@example.org. Twitter: @Chris_At_Herald.