Reece Construction workers pave Division Street in Arlington in July. The company enters the home stretch now for the city’s 2018 pavement preservation project. (City of Arlington)

Reece Construction workers pave Division Street in Arlington in July. The company enters the home stretch now for the city’s 2018 pavement preservation project. (City of Arlington)

125 miles, $21 million and the smell of fresh pavement

Summer means roadways across Snohomish County are being repaired.

It’s the sweet smell of tax dollars at work.

Summer is pavement preservation time, when work crews chip seal, slurry seal, pothole fill, repave and otherwise extend the life of miles and miles of local roadways. In all, more than 125 miles of roads across Snohomish County are getting some maintenance this summer, to the tune of more than $21 million.

Everett is wrapping up its $3 million summer paving program, which spruced up a little more than 6 miles of roadway.

Meanwhile, others are just getting started.

Snohomish County starts its summer paving program this week. The county will chip seal or pave more than 77 miles of roadway. The work is estimated at $5.4 million.

In addition to its own roads, the county also handled the grunt side of preservation projects this summer for several cities — Brier, Edmonds, Granite Falls, Monroe, Snohomish, Stanwood and Woodway — which totaled more than 11 miles and $4.78 million in work.

Marysville also starts its summer road paving work this week.

Drivers there can expect single-lane closures and sidewalk ramp restrictions between 7 a.m. and 5 p.m. weekdays in four areas. Work is expected to wrap up by the end of September.

An overlay of Sunnyside Boulevard headlines the city’s to-do list. Roughly one mile of pavement, from 40th Street NE to Soper Hill Road, will be ground down and redone. The $644,700 project is primarily funded by a federal grant, with about $147,000 coming from the city’s local tax-supported transportation benefit fund.

Meanwhile, a total of nearly 2 miles of pavement on three other roads will be repaired: 52nd Street NE (from Sunnyside Boulevard to 75th Avenue NE); 84th Street NE (from 67th Avenue NE to 74th Drive NE); and 136th Street NE (from Smokey Point Boulevard east to the railroad tracks). That $1.3 million batch of work is paid solely from the transportation benefit fund.

At the smaller end, Sultan is reconstructing two streets this year for a total of about a half-mile. The work costs $744,500, with a state grant covering 75 percent of that.

Arlington expects to wrap up repaving work by the end of the month on 1.38 miles of roadway at the north end.

Like many other cities, Arlington is paying for its preservation work with a portion of the sales tax collected through a transportation benefit district.

In Snohomish County, 11 cities have transportation benefit districts to levy extra taxes dedicated to roadwork. Lake Stevens is considering whether to form one.

These types of preservation projects are considered summer jobs.

But heavy machinery will be here and there into the fall months.

Work in Lynnwood is expected to extend into October. The city is spending $2.5 million this season to fix more than 14 miles of roads, including a nearly 1.5-mile stretch of 200th Street SW onto Alderwood Mall Boulevard. Most of the city’s work involves chip sealing, a relatively cheap way to extend the life of a road by as much as a decade.

A similar method is slurry seal, which was used by Mukilteo on 6.3 miles of roadway in two neighborhoods this summer, at a price tag of $500,000.

Not everyone is doing tune-ups.

For example, Mill Creek is focused this year on a major rebuild of 35th Avenue SE.

Everett road work

Everett has an interactive map of its roadwork and construction projects. Find out what’s happening in your neighborhood at

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