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Officials honor ‘Punks’ Smith

Community members, elected officials and family members of Olive “Punks” Smith were on hand during a recent interchange dedication to Smith. - Kirk Boxleitner
Community members, elected officials and family members of Olive “Punks” Smith were on hand during a recent interchange dedication to Smith.
— image credit: Kirk Boxleitner

SMOKEY POINT — Community members and state and local officials recently celebrated the dedication of a new interchange.

The Oliver “Punks” Smith Bridge, named after the former Arlington City Council member who helped secure the project’s funding, was celebrated by WSDOT officials, the Arlington and Marysville mayors and members of Smith’s family on Friday, Nov. 13 in Smokey Point.

The recently improved Interstate 5/SR 531 interchange re-opened in August after crews constructed a new on-ramp from westbound SR 531 (172nd Street NE) to southbound I-5.

Most of the $23.5 million construction project is ahead of schedule, said WSDOT spokeswoman Meghan Pembroke.

Officials from WSDOT held a dedication ceremony at the Medallion Hotel, and attendees were then encouraged to take a walking tour of the new interchange.

“We’d like to give our WSDOT and contractor crews a lot of credit for working hard to wrap up this part of the project nearly six months ahead of schedule,” said Paula Hammond, Washington Transportation Secretary.

More than 40,000 vehicles use the interchange each day, WSDOT officials said.

Crews are expecting to complete the project by summer 2010. In addition to the new ramp, crews will also be constructing an additional turn lane on SR 531 at 27th Avenue NE, as well as new sidewalks on SR 531.

Updated lighting, striping and guardrail will also be installed in the area.

A new noise wall will also be constructed during the project, WSDOT officials said.

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