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UPDATE | Lakewood rail crossing on SR 531 rescheduled for after June 18
LAKEWOOD — Burlington Northern Santa Fe has announced that it will postpone its closure of the rail crossing on 172nd Street NE (State Route 531) until after Monday, June 18, when Lakewood schools will be out for the summer.
BNSF had previously announced that it would fully close the crossing, about a mile west of Interstate 5, for repair work round-the-clock on Wednesday, June 6, and Thursday, June 7.
City of Marysville officials had begun encouraging motorists to seek alternate routes, while BNSF had already posted detour signs in the impacted areas west of the 172nd Street/I-5 interchange and Lakewood Crossing shopping center.
SR 531 is a busy stretch of state highway, especially at peak traffic hours, and alternate routes are limited, according to city of Marysville officials.
On Tuesday, May 29, the city of Marysville denied a right-of-way permit to BNSF to close the road due to public safety concerns, but BNSF had planned to close the route regardless. The proposed closure generated various emergency services, traffic safety and school bus access concerns raised by affected local municipalities and jurisdictions who requested modifications of BNSF plans to better address public safety and school needs. BNSF officials had acknowledged that the detour would add several minutes to emergency response, but felt emergency responders and citizens would utilize alternative routes to meet their needs.
City of Marysville officials had offered to meet with railroad staff to discuss issues and potential options to lessen the impact to all affected parties, but were not informed until Tuesday, June 5, that BNSF had opted to delay its repair work until after June 18.
BNSF officials have not yet returned phone calls from The Marysville Globe and The Arlington Times.