Arlington Valley Road is back on track

ARLINGTON — A new road is being designed to better connect the city’s industrial corridor to Highway 9.

The Arlington Valley Road would link 74th Avenue Northeast to 191 Place Northeast, providing a more direct route to Highway 9 for businesses along busy 67th Avenue. It’s envisioned as a three-lane street running for about three-quarters of a mile, with a paved path alongside for pedestrians. The 100-acre industrial area that would be served by the road is northwest of the city’s airport.

“Right now, we’re in the very early stages in the design process,” Arlington public works director James Kelly said.

Experts are studying the soil and layout of the land to determine the best way to build the road, the best route to take and how much the project would cost. A $50,000 grant from the state’s Community Economic Revitalization Board, awarded in January, is paying for some of the initial planning.

City leaders aim to have a design finalized by the end of the year. Construction could start as soon as 2016, depending on funding, Kelly said. City officials plan to apply for grants this year.

The Arlington Valley Road project has been part of the city’s comprehensive plan since 2005, but a new road for industry wasn’t needed in the late 2000s, when the recession had businesses moving out rather than in. Now, as multiple manufacturers in Arlington and Smokey Point start to expand and vacant properties are being redeveloped, the road again has become a priority.

A cornerstone of the industrial area near the planned road is the former Northwest Hardwoods property at 20015 67th Ave NE. The company, once a subsidiary of Weyerhaeuser, closed its Arlington mill a few years ago, and now the property is being redeveloped, city administrator Paul Ellis said. Demolition and site clean-up by a private developer are underway, and the goal is to create a new 53-acre industrial park that could house a dozen businesses or more.

The Arlington Valley Road would be a route for both commuting employees and trucks hauling supplies and products. It would serve existing companies at Jensen Business Park and others in the city’s industrial zone, including Hampton Lumber Sales and B&B Fabricators, Ellis said.

The road also would open up undeveloped land that isn’t accessible at the moment.

“You build it and hopefully more developers will come,” Kelly said.

Kari Bray: 425-339-3439; kbray@heraldnet.com.

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