New bridge will close Pacific Ave. for a year


Herald Writer

EVERETT — A section of one of the city’s main east-to-west roads will be closed for more than a year while crews build a bridge over the railroad tracks.

The $10.2 million bridge will help traffic flow and increase safety when a new transportation center now under construction opens.

The city will close Pacific Avenue from McDougall to Fulton on Oct. 16.

The closure will mean traffic detours on a road that averages 22,000 vehicle trips a day. Customers will be able to access nearby businesses through alternate routes.

City officials looked at keeping one lane of traffic open during construction, but found it would add months and millions to the project, said Wayne Wentz, city traffic engineer.

The bridge and new transportation center, Everett Station, should open December 2001. Everett Station is expected to attract thousands more people to the area east of Broadway.

More cars, people and trains are expected in the area in the coming year. And an average of 16 trains a day cross Pacific Avenue, adding to the traffic congestion, Wentz said.

Once Everett Station opens, the city expects thousands of additional cars in the area and eventually more than one-half dozen more trains. The new bridge, which will also include access to Everett Station, will eliminate existing and future congestion problems caused by trains.

"It will greatly improve pedestrian safety," said Wentz, adding that the bridge will also have sidewalks. "Tracks are always difficult for pedestrians to cross."

Access to some businesses will be rerouted during construction, said Dale Preboski, city spokeswoman. Businesses will have maps available to customers showing them how to get around during construction. And detour signs will be at 10 locations between downtown and I-5.

To prepare for the closure and effects on travelers, contractors have widened Cedar Street from Everett Avenue to Pacific, adding turn lanes and traffic signals. Two intersections, Fulton at Pacific and Fulton at Hewitt, have been realigned and now have new traffic lights. On Hewitt Avenue, traffic light timing has been modified at Cedar and Maple to help with traffic flow.

Everett Transit has also added a bus route moving throughout downtown.

"Moving traffic up and over Pacific, and above the Burlington-Northern Santa Fe railroad system will make it easier and safer to move in and through the city," Preboski said.

Guy F. Atkinson Construction Co. of Renton will replace the five-lane road with a five-lane bridge, Wentz said.

For more information on the project, tune in to the city’s government-access cable channel 28 or call Preboski at 425-257-8687 or the city’s 24-hour line at 425-257-8821. The city’s Web site is at

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