With new grant, Lynnwood can finally upgrade 36th Avenue

LYNNWOOD — After a decade of prep work, plans are coming together to upgrade a main road in Lynnwood that dates back more than 80 years.

The city of Lynnwood hopes to dig up one mile of 36th Avenue West, paving a new road bed in its place. A newly awarded $4 million grant just cinched the project.

Construction is scheduled to begin in 2018.

It is part of a larger effort to replace a two-mile stretch of 36th Avenue West.

The city is responsible for the section between Maple Road and 164th Street SW. The mile north of 164th is within Snohomish County’s jurisdiction.

The grant was awarded to the city by the Washington State Transportation Improvement Board, Lynnwood Public Works Director Bill Franz said. The city has cobbled together grant money for the project over the past 10 years.

Earlier this year, the city received funds from the Puget Sound Regional Council and the federal government.

The $4 million was the last grant needed to cover the $14 million project.

36th Avenue West started as a two-lane country road. It later became a main north-south route connecting drivers to Alderwood mall and the city center.

Housing developments began popping up nearby. Developers added to the road to widen it, making a hodgepodge of uneven pavement, Franz said.

“The fire department doesn’t like to run ambulances up and down the road because it’s too bumpy,” Franz said.

Some drivers won’t take coffee with them in the car, fearing spills.

It’s the last major road in the city that has yet to be improved, Franz said.

Construction crews plan to dig two feet into the ground and rebuild from the base up. The work is expected to take about 18 months.

That’s why it’s so expensive, city engineer Jeff Elekes said.

The blueprints of the new road include sidewalks, landscaping, bus stops and left-turn pockets at some intersections. A roundabout is planned for the intersection at 172nd Street SW. A new traffic signal is mapped out for the intersection at Maple Road.

Due to the extensive nature of the project, Franz said drivers can expect lane closures and detours, as well as a dose of dust.

“It will be a mess during construction,” he said.

The county is more than halfway through designing the northern section of road. The design process will continue through next year, said Max Phan, Snohomish County design engineering manager.

“It’s something the public has been waiting for for a long time,” Franz said.

Caitlin Tompkins: 425-339-3192; ctompkins@heraldnet.com.

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