Upon further review, state puts I-5 on-ramp back on schedule

WSDOT says it crunched the numbers again: An interchange at Highway 529 and I-5 will be built as planned.

The Highway 529/I-5 interchange project includes a northbound ramp from the freeway onto the highway into Marysville, and a southbound ramp from the highway to the interstate. (Washington State Department of Transportation)

The Highway 529/I-5 interchange project includes a northbound ramp from the freeway onto the highway into Marysville, and a southbound ramp from the highway to the interstate. (Washington State Department of Transportation)

MARYSVILLE — State transportation officials have found a way to construct a major I-5 interchange as planned, days after saying it wasn’t possible due to rising costs.

The Highway 529 and I-5 interchange had been drawn with three major components — one northbound and one southbound ramp linking the freeway and highway on Ebey Island, and a northbound high occupancy vehicle lane between Everett and Marysville.

But last month the Washington State Department of Transportation told the city of Marysville and Snohomish County that work on the on-ramp to southbound I-5 could be delayed because the project’s estimated price tag was $7.2 million beyond its $89.4 million budget. Work is to begin next year and wrap in 2023.

On Wednesday, WSDOT Regional Administrator Mike Cotten informed Marysville Mayor Jon Nehring that they had crunched the numbers and found a way to keep the project intact when it is put out to bid. Cotten followed up with a letter which also went to a slew of civic leaders who had publicly opposed delaying the on-ramp.

“We are very pleased. This is a critical project for Marysville and Snohomish County and having the full interchange back on track for on-time completion is very important,” Nehring said in an email.

“I wouldn’t say I am surprised as it never really made sense to me to cut $7.2 million now and then pay more (probably significantly more) than that in demobilization and remobilization of contractors and equipment along with inflation to complete later,” he said. “I am really appreciative that WSDOT worked hard to find savings elsewhere, without affecting the integrity of the overall project essentials and timeline.”

Cotten, in his letter, said that when it was “made clear” a potential delay of the on-ramp was not desirable, they had independent engineers within the agency and construction professionals take another look.

“We adjusted some of our assumptions and estimates regarding various components related to items of work for the design-builder as well as material costs that need to be considered,” he wrote.

The trade-off, he wrote, is other items in the original project could get delayed such as replacement of “aging Intelligent Transportation Systems equipment that is essential to traffic monitoring and detection,” he wrote. These systems include such items as traffic cameras, message boards, and ramp meters.

Snohomish County Executive Dave Somers had said delaying the on-ramp would be “penny-wise and pound foolish.”

“We are grateful for the state’s effort and diligence in getting this project back on track,” he said Wednesday. “We remain committed to seeing this project completed as planned and on time.”

Jerry Cornfield: 360-352-8623; jcornfield@heraldnet.com. Twitter: @dospueblos.

Talk to us

More in Local News

Amethyst Skeels and Alexander Walsh pick out cannabis products at Kushman's Everett Cannabis Dispensary on Evergreen Way on Tuesday, Dec. 1, 2020 in Everett, Washington.  (Andy Bronson / The Herald)
Cannabis sales surge, proving pot is pandemic-proof

There are more customers, and some regulars are stocking up — just in case there’s a shortage.

Leslie Bringedahl grabs a bag containing books she and her husband Mark ordered after Circulation Manager Carol  puts them down on a wall during curbside pickup at the Everett Public Library on Wednesday, June 17, 2020 in Everett, Wa.(Andy Bronson / The Herald)
Everett council looks to fund fireworks, Jetty Island ferry

The Carl Gipson Senior Center and boosting library funding are also “quality of life” priorities.

Police: Suspect in fatal hit-and-run may have used marijuana

The Lynnwood man allegedly didn’t stop to check on a pedestrian whom he hit with a pickup truck.

Washington Secretary of State Kim Wyman talks to reporters in her office, Wednesday, Jan. 15, 2020, at the Capitol in Olympia, Wash. Wyman was talking about a series of election- and ballot-security bills her office is asking the Washington Legislature to consider during the current session. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)
Washington secretary of state certifies election results

Joe Biden will receive the state’s 12 electoral votes at the Electoral College on Dec. 14.

Santa Claus is coming to town, despite the coronavirus

He’ll follow social distancing. In one setting, children are invited to “call out” their wishes.

Driver arrested after allegedly hitting woman in crosswalk

The suspect was driving an SUV on Highway 99 in Lynnwood and is under investigation for DUI.

COVID cases, hospitalizations and deaths continue to rise

A new exposure notification app is here, and vaccines are on the way, but the virus continues to surge.

16,000 fentanyl pills, pounds of meth, heroin seized in bust

Eight suspects were indicted in U.S. District Court in Seattle, including five from Snohomish County.

The 2021 Historic Everett calendar focuses on the city’s railroad past, present and future. (Historic Everett, Jack O’Donnell collection photo)
A nostalgic glimpse at how trains shaped Everett

“There is a romance to it,” says a Historic Everett member who researched railroads for a 2021 calendar.

Most Read