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Centennial Trail, 67th Avenue NE projects move forward in Arlington

Once completed, the new stretch of Centennial Trail will begin at 204th Street NE and 67th Avenue NE, duck behind the east side of Taylor Industrial Park and connect back up with 67th until Lebanon Street in downtown Arlington. - Courtesy Photo
Once completed, the new stretch of Centennial Trail will begin at 204th Street NE and 67th Avenue NE, duck behind the east side of Taylor Industrial Park and connect back up with 67th until Lebanon Street in downtown Arlington.
— image credit: Courtesy Photo

ARLINGTON — After months of deliberation and public input, the City Council has finally approved how Centennial Trail will connect with the downtown Arlington corridor.

The Council voted 6-1 on Monday, May 17, in favor of an option that has the trail running along the east side of Taylor Industrial Park — adjacent to the nearby railroad tracks — from 204th Street NE to across from the Stillaguamish Valley Pioneer Museum on the 20700 block of 67th Avenue NE.

From there, the trail would run along side 67th to Lebanon Street in downtown Arlington and connect up with the current section of Centennial Trail that runs through downtown.

Councilman Scott Solla voted against the option — one of four alternatives that city officials had been gathering input on since September 2009.

According to city documents, the approved trail option would make use of a piece of right-of-way not being used by the city on 69th Avenue NE. It also allows for bicycle and pedestrian traffic to remain separate from automobile traffic.

The city has held two public open houses — one in September 2009 and on in March — during which community members and business owners expressed concern about how their properties would be affected by the project.

Some of those involved parties were in contact with Council members directly during this process, said Councilman Steve Baker.

"I have not been very happy with the way this has gone," Baker said during the May 17 meeting, adding that he felt the Council has had to extract bits and pieces of information on this project.

Baker initially proposed that the Council vote on each of the four individual options. Those options all had pros and cons, ranging from dangerous to expensive, according to city documents.

Councilman Dick Butner disagreed, and called a vote in support of the alternative two, which passed.

While most of the talk regarding construction revolved around the Centennial Trail, the project also includes adding a two-way left turn lane and installing sidewalks and lighting on 67th Avenue NE between 204th Street NE and Lebanon Street.

Jim Kelly, city of Arlington public works director, said that he hopes to have this final phase of the 67th Avenue NE project "shovel ready" for construction in spring 2011.

Estimated cost for the Centennial Trail and 67th construction project is between $8.5 million to $10 million.

The city could apply for federal stimulus funds to pay for a portion of the project, Kelly said.

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