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City provides update on transportation projects

By KIRK BOXLEITNER
Arlington Times Reporter
June 19, 2013 · 11:18 AM
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Kris Wallace, from Arlington’s Public Works Department, speaks to the Arlington-Smokey Point Chamber of Commerce on June 11. / Kirk Boxleitner

ARLINGTON — Arlington city officials recently updated the public on the transportation improvements that they can expect to see implemented in the near future, from 67th Avenue and beyond.

At the June 11 Arlington-Smokey Point Chamber of Commerce meeting, Arlington Assistant City Administrator Kristin Banfield and Kris Wallace of the city’s Public Works Department addressed not only the ongoing construction on 67th Avenue, but also the upcoming repaving of State Route 531 and the Aug. 6 ballot measure for a Transportation Benefit District.

“You name it, it’s got it,” Banfield said of 67th Avenue’s planned enhancements, which are set to include culverts for the Prairie and Portage creeks, new traffic signals and crosswalks, the widening of the Centennial Trail and 67th Avenue itself, new roadways surfacing and street lighting, and improved pedestrian access and stormwater treatment.

To ease traffic congestion, Banfield noted that construction on 67th Avenue had been shifted to the hours of 7 p.m. to 6 a.m. from June 17-20.

“We wanted to help motorists stay safe by getting out of their way,” Banfield said. “We are on time and on budget with this project, and we expect new paved surfaces to be laid down by the Fourth of July.”

Wallace explained that repaving on the stretch of SR 531 between 43rd and 82nd avenues NE should start around July 22, well after the completion of this year’s Arlington Fly-In, and wrap up by this fall.

“We’ll be adding new sidewalks and ADA stands, upgrading the traffic signal controls and re-striping the road,” Wallace said. “Again, most of this work will be done at night. We will need to have detours during parts of this project, but those routes will be clearly marked.”

Wallace acknowledged that the road will not be widened during this upcoming construction, nor will a left-turn lane be installed for the Stillaguamish Athletic Club until the road is widened.

“There’s just not money to do it,” Wallace said. “There will be noise during the project, though, so [the Washington State Department of Transportation] will be sending out fliers to the affected homes, as well as I think earplugs.”

“If you’d like to see more money for these types of street improvements, contact your Legislators,” Banfield said. “They need to hear from you how important it is for our businesses and residents that we be able to widen that road.”

Banfield concluded the day’s presentation by explaining that the proposed TBD would fund the preservation, repair and improvement of 126 failing and near-failing road segments within Arlington if voters were to approve a $0.002 additional sales tax for 10 years, which is projected to raise $650,000 annually from residents and non-residents alike.

“Both residents and non-residents use our roads, so they should both pay into the TBD,” Banfield said. “It would mean paying 20 cents on $100 of taxable goods purchased in the city of Arlington.”

To see which road segments have been selected for repair and improvement, you may log onto www.arlingtonwa.gov/TBDMaps.

 

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