The bumpy drive along 128th Street SE (Highway 96) by McCollum Park in south Everett is getting smoothed out. But long-term fixes for this roller-coaster built over a former landfill are unlikely. (Herald photo)

The bumpy drive along 128th Street SE (Highway 96) by McCollum Park in south Everett is getting smoothed out. But long-term fixes for this roller-coaster built over a former landfill are unlikely. (Herald photo)

Bumpy ride near McCollum Park getting temporary fix

A bumpy ride is getting smoothed out — for now.

Highway 96 (also known as 128th Street SE) remains a roller coaster near McCollum Park, where the road passes over a former landfill.

The state is in the midst of a $8.2 million paving project there.

“It’s a paving project, so it won’t necessarily fix all the dips and bumps. But what it will do is it will go through and it will grind down some of the ridges between dips. It will smooth out the surface,” said Marqise Allen, a spokesman with the Washington State Department of Transportation. “That’s a temporary fix. The ground will eventually resettle and the bumps will re-form.”

WSDOT has been spending about $25,000 to $30,000 a year trying to keep the roadway smooth. The new pavement is expected to reduce those maintenance needs.

Still, what about a long-term fix?

That would involve completely rebuilding the roadway, likely with a bridge or some other structure, Allen said.

That’s a big price tag on its own. But there are other concerns when it comes to a former landfill site. It cost an estimated $30 million just to clean up a former landfill in Kitsap County. With the footings required for a bridge structure, there’s also the danger of releasing methane gas trapped underground, Allen said.

“There are so many unknown barriers and possible pitfalls — by trying to fix the problem, you could create new problems and (it would) just be really expensive,” he said.

Have a question or topic idea? Reach out at streetsmarts@heraldnet.com, 425-339-3432.

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