Once completed, the Grand Avenue Bridge will provide a pedestrian pathway to Port of Everett. The western tower for the bridge, pictured in the lower right side, will contain an elevator and utility shaft. (Lizz Giordano / The Herald)

Once completed, the Grand Avenue Bridge will provide a pedestrian pathway to Port of Everett. The western tower for the bridge, pictured in the lower right side, will contain an elevator and utility shaft. (Lizz Giordano / The Herald)

Grand Avenue Park Bridge on track to open in 2020

Work has slowed on the site until the steel trusses can be installed. Crews must wait until the rail tracks can be closed.

EVERETT — The steel trusses are constructed. The elevator shaft is complete.

But crews have to wait until later this year to install the Grand Avenue Park Bridge, which eventually will span West Marine View Drive near 16th Street.

What started as a utility project expanded to include a pedestrian connection to the waterfront. Once finished the foot path will link Grand Avenue to the Port of Everett while also carrying sewage and stormwater pipes. Placed under the bridge, the new pipelines will be more accessible for inspection and maintenance.

Not much work will occur at the site until the city’s next opportunity to place the steel trusses comes around, which is likely to happen in the spring or summer.

“The bridge’s steel components took longer to manufacture than planned, which meant that we missed last year’s work window for putting the bridge in place,” said Kathleen Baxter, a spokeswoman for Everett’s public works department. “We had hoped to erect the bridge in summer of 2018.”

The complex project, which will cross over five rail lines and under power transmission lines, requires coordinating with BNSF and the Snohomish County Public Utility District.

When the trusses can be installed depends a great deal on when BNSF will allow a full closure of the train tracks. Once railroad officials give the go ahead, everything will be staged and ready to go, Baxter said.

“It’s a very unique project, it’s not something we do over and over,” said Heather Griffin, the project manager for the city. “The bridge is about one million pounds and almost as long as a football field.”

The steel trusses were manufactured in Vancouver, Washington. In late winter, the pieces will be brought to Everett and then assembled, which will take several months, Griffin said.

After it’s put together, a crew will then take the bridge down Marine View Drive where it will be slowly hoisted, turned and placed. The installation will involve a weekend closure of the road.

The bridge will have an elevator and stairs on the western side. The eastern entrance starts at the north end of Grand Avenue Park.

To avoid obstructing views from the park, the main bridge structure will sit slightly lower than the bluff.

The addition of two switchbacks eliminated the need for an elevator on the east side. From the park, pedestrians will enter the bridge on the top level. About halfway across users will encounter a first switchback that will turn them back toward Grand Avenue while sloping down. A second switchback will direct them toward the water.

Though work at the site has slowed for the winter months, the city says the project is on track to open in 2020. After the support pieces are placed, crews will still need to construct the bridge deck and install lighting.

The total project cost was $20 million. For the pedestrian upgrade, $2 million of federal grants were secured.

Lizz Giordano: 425-374-4165; egiordano@heraldnet.com; Twitter: @lizzgior.

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