New road set for fast-growing area in Arlington

Arlington Valley Road will be another route for businesses along busy 67th Ave. to reach the highway.

ARLINGTON — City leaders recently awarded a $3 million construction contract to build a new road in the Kent Prairie area, a fast-growing part of the city.

Arlington Valley Road is to be a new route linking 74th Avenue NE to 191 Place NE, just west of Highway 9. It would be another option for businesses along busy 67th Avenue to reach the highway.

The Arlington City Council on March 19 voted to award the construction contract to Seattle-based Scarsella Brothers Inc.

The plan is to have a new street with two traffic lanes and a center turn lane. The road would be about three-quarters of a mile long. Designs call for a paved path alongside for pedestrians and bicyclists.

The city included the new road in its transportation planning more than a decade ago. It’s been part of Arlington’s comprehensive plan since 2005. But another route for industrial businesses wasn’t needed during the recession. Now, as the manufacturing industry in North Snohomish County expands, the road has become a priority again.

“We’re really excited to get going on this project. It’s going to help, especially those industrial manufacturing sites that are in the Kent Prairie area,” city spokeswoman Kristin Banfield said. “It also opens up properties that don’t have transportation access right now. It opens up the back side of those properties so they can potentially be developed.”

Arlington Valley Road would serve commuters as well as trucks hauling supplies and products.

In spring 2015, City Council members determined that Kent Prairie was one of the areas in the city most poised for development, according to city documents. They noted that improved infrastructure was needed. The Arlington Valley Road is a key piece of that, Banfield said.

The design has since been finished, right-of-way obtained and permits issued. Because it’s a new road, it took time to acquire the property, Banfield said. The city began seeking bids from contractors in February. Construction is expected to start soon and finish this fall.

There are several new buildings nearing completion in the area at the moment, including the Park 77 apartments and a new Bartell Drugs store. More projects are happening all over town, Banfield said. As the city grows, one of the biggest concerns is transportation and traffic flow.

“This is one of those big projects that will help address some of those transportation issues,” Banfield said. “I really think our businesses are going to enjoy having that connection and being able to funnel themselves off of the arterials and directly to Highway 9.”

The city received a $2.3 million grant from the state Transportation Improvement Board to build Arlington Valley Road. Traffic fees paid on new development also are expected to go toward the project.

Kari Bray: 425-339-3439; kbray@heraldnet.com.

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