EVERETT — A new bridge that’s sat idle over I-5 for about two years is finally getting ready to open to pedestrians and bikers.
Crews have added ramps to the bridge and are installing fencing along the east side of the freeway. The bridge is set to open by the end of this month, letting people get onto a popular trail without crossing an interchange full of vehicles.
“We are wrapping up a few things,” said Travis Phelps, a spokesman for the state Department of Transportation.
The $4.8 million project aims to improve safety for those who use the Interurban Trail, which mostly runs along the freeway between Everett to near Shoreline. I-5 divides the trail in south Everett. That means that pedestrians and bicyclists have to take a narrow sidewalk and cross busy lanes over the I-5 interchange at 128th Street, used by about 60,000 drivers per day on average.
Many trail users refuse to cross the busy interchange for safety reasons, county public works director Steve Thomsen said.
The new bridge “will be a great asset for bikers and pedestrians,” he said.
The pedestrian overpass itself was built without ramps about two years ago for $2 million, he said. Building the bridge earlier allowed the county to take advantage of a federal grant.
The county also saved money because inflation increased the cost of construction materials, Thomsen said.
The state started building ramps for the pedestrian bridge in late 2007. The money for the project came from the state, the county and federal grants.
County and state officials have yet to set the formal opening date for the bridge.
Reporter Yoshiaki Nohara: 425-339-3029 or email@example.com.