Every week Joe Flores drives down a well-trodden and low-traffic stretch of 40th Avenue for work.
He’s done this for a few years since being employed at the Scott’s fertilizer facility at 14524 40th Ave. NE, Marysville. It’s at a dead end of 40th Avenue only accessed from 152nd Street NE/Levin Road.
The pockmarked road finally had his curiosity reach its limit. He called the Daily Herald to ask why the avenue is so rough and if the city had plans to fix it.
“I go down that road, of course the other guys do too; they all say the same thing” said Flores, who lives in Granite Falls.
The reason is that the city hasn’t repaved it in years and doesn’t plan to work on it any time soon. That’s because of the cost and, aside from heavy trucking at Scott’s, other commuters or drivers don’t use the street.
Marysville’s road funding, even when it totals $12 million for work as in the 2021 budget, is finite each year. City leaders can’t do every project, repair and resurface each of the hundreds of miles of pavement in Marysville.
For example: the city spent $6.9 million out of its street construction fund last year on the First Street Bypass.
Instead, city leaders prioritize arterials and some collectors.
“The cost to improve 40th at this point would be pretty significant, you’re having to reconstruct the roadway,” Marysville city engineer Jeff Laycock said.
That part of Marysville, technically part of the Smokey Point subarea per the city’s comprehensive plan, used to be Snohomish County’s jurisdiction. It could be one reason for the road’s kilter.
“It’s in substandard condition as it is,” Laycock said. “It wasn’t constructed to what’s required for today’s loading, and beyond that it hasn’t been maintained.”
Some day, it’s possible the road could break through the dead end and connect to the tendril that reaches north from 136th Street NE. It’s part of Marysville’s 2015 comp plan update, the guiding document about city growth and capital projects, but doesn’t have a target date for completion.
Development by private companies along the road is the most likely funding option for the road’s connection and adjacent pavement repairs, including sidewalks. But no projects are planned in the area.
“We’ll wait for development to punch that land through,” Laycock said.
Doing so could require the city to purchase some property, which is another reason Marysville isn’t looking to connect 40th Avenue NE between 136th and 152nd Street NE. The road construction money is better used for busy parallel roads such as Smokey Point Boulevard and 51st Avenue NE, Laycock said.
“This is not a very necessary roadway,” he said. “This isn’t really a big traffic connector.”
Marysville’s major road project this year is widening State Avenue from 100th Street NE to 116th Street NE.
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