Improvements to Smokey Point Boulevard on the horizon

The Stillaguamish Tribe and the city of Arlington will be funding an asphalt overlay project on Smokey Point Boulevard in July. - Adam Rudnick
The Stillaguamish Tribe and the city of Arlington will be funding an asphalt overlay project on Smokey Point Boulevard in July.
— image credit: Adam Rudnick

ARLINGTON — Construction crews will soon be repairing one of the busiest stretches of local roadway.

The Stillaguamish Tribe and the city of Arlington will be splitting the bill on an approximately $275,000 asphalt overlay construction project on Smokey Point Boulevard between 175th Street NE and 184th Street NE.

The project will begin shortly after the Fourth of July and is expected to last until the end of the month, officials said.

Approximately $145,000 of the funds required for the project will come from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.

The Stillaguamish Tribe received the money to pay for maintenance and upgrades to Arlington roads that are listed on the Indian Reservation Road inventory, and eventually settled on funding the Smokey Point Boulevard project after looking at a number of other projects, said Casey Stevens, Stillaguamish Tribe of Indians planner.

"It's very close to our Tribal headquarters," Stevens said. "A lot of Tribal folks use it and (the street) a main link to other Tribal buildings."

The Arlington City Council was expected to approve a bid for the project on Tuesday, July 6. The city's share of the project is approximately $130,000, which is being paid out of its 2010 road overlay budget, said Jim Kelly, city of Arlington Public Works director.

The project is expected to disrupt traffic flow on Smokey Point Boulevard during the month of July, Kelly said.

"We won't start it until after the Fly-In," he said. "It's a very simple project. We just want to get it done and cause the least disturbance in traffic."

The Arlington Fly-In takes place July 7-10. The event generally attracts tens of thousands of attendees from across the United States and Canada.

Crews will be grinding down about four inches into the roadway to seal up large cracks in the street. They will then overlay the repaired base with four new inches of asphalt, clean up the street's shoulders and widen the lanes from 11 feet to 12 feet.

Stevens said that the Tribe originally considered funding smaller road projects within the city. Repairs to 188th Street NE and Stillaguamish Avenue were considered before it eventually decided on helping the city pay for improvements to Smokey Point Boulevard.

"Those roads are in better shape and they don't have nearly the number of trips (as Smokey Point)," Stevens said. "We have four projects that we'll be doing. This is one that we want to make a goodwill gesture to the city with. Their coffers are bare."

City of Arlington spokeswoman Kristin Banfield said that the project will be a huge improvement.

"(The road) really needs those repairs," Banfield said. "It's been a great cooperative effort between the city and the Tribe."

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