Traffic moves along 172nd Street near 23rd Avenue NE on Friday in Marysville. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)

Traffic moves along 172nd Street near 23rd Avenue NE on Friday in Marysville. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)

Development led to frequent street cleaning near Smokey Point

Work on a possible residential development tracked dirt onto the road. Marysville made the company clean it.

Fall came and went, strewing leaves all over.

The annual season change prompts cities and counties to send out their street sweeping trucks to clear debris from storm drains. That’s true during snow storms as well.

But a host of street cleaner trucks in a small section of roadway near Smokey Point puzzled reader Jake Ritland of Tulalip. In November he noticed a consistent response at 172nd Street NE west of Interstate 5, close to the retail area.

“They especially concentrate on the traffic circle multiple times a day at all hours during the day, rain or shine,” he wrote to The Daily Herald of Everett. “Is there a special reason they concentrate on this particular area other than to keep the road clean? Are they contracted to do it by the senior apartment complex or the construction going on to the south of 172nd? It seems no matter what time of day I drive through there they are cleaning the street and holding up traffic.”

He didn’t spot a logo on the trucks to identify who contracted or was operating them. Arlington, Snohomish County and the Washington State Department of Transportation, which is responsible for the road as it also is Highway 531, couldn’t answer questions because this project wasn’t in their jurisdiction.

It was in Marysville city limits and there was a special reason for the frequent street cleaning: dirt.

While ordinary, sediment can cause issues on the roadway. Such was the case here, which prompted the city of Marysville to intervene.

Snohomish County-based home building company Huseby Homes was importing fill at nearby property for potential new residential development, Marysville spokesperson Connie Mennie said. City staff are reviewing the 199-lot project, which is called Sather Farms.

The project had been tracking dirt onto 172nd Street NE and (we’re) trying to manage it with sweepers,” Mennie said in late December. “In response to a number of citizen concerns, work at the project was recently stopped so that the public roadway could be cleaned and improvements to the site could be made to reduce track-out from the site.”

New paved entry to the work site, rumble strips and a wheel-wash station were part of the solution, Mennie said. Work resumed and the city was monitoring to ensure the changes worked “and will not require continual sweeping of the public roadway.”

Daily truck trips affecting traffic in the area were expected to decrease as well, Mennie said.

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