MARYSVILLE — Design work on the Highway 529 intersection with I-5 won’t be finished for another year, but city engineer Jeff Laycock last week provided an update to the Marysville City Council.
The project includes a northbound ramp from I-5 to Highway 529, along with a ramp from Highway 529 to southbound I-5. It also includes a northbound peak-use shoulder lane between Marine View Drive in Everett and Highway 528 in Marysville.
The 2015 Connecting Washington transportation package provided funding for it.
Construction is set to begin in 2021 and end a year later.
In giving reasons why the project is needed, the state Department of Transportation said between 1980 and 2017 the population of Snohomish County increased 137 percent. It’s expected to gain another 200,000 residents by 2035. That growth increased the number of vehicles using I-5 between Everett and Marysville, with around 65,000 a day in the northbound direction alone.
Drivers frequently experience heavy congestion and long commute times. Marysville leaders have expressed excitement about the project because it will allow motorists to get into town without having to deal with train delays.
Laycock gave statistics on how long it takes to get from the Boeing Freeway in south Everett to 88th Street in Marysville at peak usage. Now, it takes 21 minutes at 34 miles per hour. If nothing is done, by 2040 it would take 45 minutes, averaging 20 mph. If the shoulder driving and interchange happen, it would take 16 minutes at 48 mph.
To mitigate environmental impacts, after trees and vegetation are removed as part of the ramps projects, new wetlands will take their place.
The Department of Transportation is looking into how the interchange can serve people who bike and walk on Highway 529 between Marysville and Everett.
This story originally appeared in the Marysville Globe, a sibling paper to the Herald.