ARLINGTON – With Arlington’s laser-like focus on manufacturing and industry as the means to grow family-wage jobs and build prosperity, projects like the new Arlington Valley Road will pave the way to get there.
The city will host a ribbon-cutting ceremony March 15 to mark the official opening of Arlington Valley Road, a project key to economic development that will better connect the city’s industrial area to Highway 9, I-5 and other major routes.
The three-lane road about three quarters of a mile in length links 74th Avenue NE to 191st Place NE and provides an easier and more direct route to the highway for businesses along busy 67th Avenue.
“The road is designed to get freight from industries that are there back out to the freeway and to Highway 9” while helping reduce commuter traffic congestion on 67th and 204th Street, Mayor Barb Tolbert said.
The new road and walkway pass behind a 100-acre industrial area and the former Northwest Hardwoods Mill, which is being redeveloped for Gayteway Business Park, and will serve existing companies at Jensen Business Park and others in the city’s industrial zone, including Hampton Lumber Sales and B&B Fabricators, city officials said.
It also opens up undeveloped land that hasn’t been reachable until the road went in.
The $4.3 million project included a $2.4 million state Transportation Improvement Board grant and additional Community Economic Revitalization Board funding from Olympia.
The project was included in the city’s comp plan over a dozen years ago, when the recession hit and put it on the back burner. The Mayor and Council saw that the Kent-Prairie area was poised for future economic development, though, so put more emphasis on infrastructure improvements such as the road.
The winding route also features a wide paved pathway along the west side, ornamental street lighting with attachments for hanging baskets and banners, utilities, and later in spring, installation of artistic bench seating with an industrial edge created by local artists and selected by the city and Arlington Arts Council.
Contractor Kent-based Scarsella Brothers got work underway in April 2018 on the project designed by engineering consultant firm Reid Middleton in Everett, and completed it before the recent big snow event.