Everett council expected to OK money for I-5 interchange design

EVERETT — The City Council budget committee Tuesday approved pooling federal and city money to pay for the design of a new 41st Street interchange, which city officials hope will reduce I-5 traffic congestion for thousands of drivers.

The full City Council is expected to approve the new fund tonight.

The $1 million in federal money and $156,069 in city money will pay only for the design of the interchange. Design work will probably not take place until 2005, after the city submits an environmental review of the project to the federal government, city engineer Dave Davis said.

Construction work will probably not begin until 2006 at the earliest, he said.

In spring 2003, the city submitted five possible designs of the interchange to the Federal Highway Administration. After studying the designs, city, state and federal officials selected one as the preferred alternative.

Currently, two eastbound lanes — including one left-turn lane — and one westbound lane exist on the bridge over 41st Street.

The preferred alternative is to build a fourth lane and have two through lanes in each direction, Davis said. Four exit and entrance ramps would feed onto the 41st Street bridge, with a single traffic signal controlling all traffic.

The interchange project will probably cost about $39 million, and construction will probably take two to three years, Davis said.

The state Department of Transportation is planning its own project just to the south of 41st Street to move the I-5 exit for Broadway from the left northbound lane of I-5 to the right lane.

The state would then build an overpass above I-5 to Broadway.

That project is not scheduled to begin until 2009, but city officials are hoping it begins earlier, Davis said.

Reporter David Olson: 425-339-3452 or dolson@heraldnet.com.

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