Plan to reduce traffic woes in Marysville

MARYSVILLE – Traffic continues to be a main concern of city residents, and the city’s new six-year Transportation Improvement Program continues to try to address it.

The plan spends $55 million in 2020, $10.2 million in grants, and $425 million over the six years, with funds coming from a variety of sources.

City engineer Jeff Laycock said at Monday’s City Council meeting that the I-5 interchange at 156th for the first time is in the plan, since state funding on it is set to begin in 2025.

Also, 156th itself is being extended east due to “all the development,” including a Roy Robinson car dealership.

Work also is planned on Sunnyside Boulevard to deal with traffic that will be headed that direction because of the First Street Bypass.

And the city will “vigorously be looking at intersections” in the Whiskey Ridge area because of all of the development there.

Major projects in the plan include:

•I-5 improvements: Northbound Peak Hour Use Lane and Interchange Improvements at Highway 529; along with interchange improvements at 4th and 88th, along with 156th.

•Arterial Improvements with First Street Bypass, State Avenue from 100th to 116th, 88th St. Corridor, Grove Street Overcrossing and 156th St. Overcrossing.

•Economic Development at 51st, 156th and 160th at the Cascade Industrial Center, along with 35th, 40th and 87th at Whiskey Ridge.

•Non-Motorized projects include the Ebey Waterfront Trail and Centennial Trail Connection.

Funding for the different projects includes:

•Joint Agency Projects: 2020 costs $26.6 million, including $19.6 million state, $5 million feds, $250,000 each from city and county, and $1.5 million to be determined. Projects include: 88th St. from State to 67th; Soper Hill Road and 83rd Ave. intersection; I-5 Peak Hour Use Lanes and Interchange Improvements at Highway 529; 88th St. interchange; and Highway 528 interchange.

•Widening/Lane Addition Projects: 2020 costs $7.8 million, fairly evenly distributed from city, grants and developer. 100th to 104th St. NE.

•New alignment projects: 2020 costs $10.58 million, $1 million from developer and $8 million bonded for First Street Bypass. Also developer funded extension at 156th St. NE.

•Non-motorized projects: 2020 cost $1.6 million, including $1.24 from grants and $13,000 TBD. Centennial Trail Connection, Phase 4 of Ebey Waterfront Trail and 80th St. NE right of way.

•Traffic safety and intersection improvements: 2020 costs $2.1 million, including $1.5 million state, $400,000 TBD and $100,000 city. Various intersection improvements at three locations on Sunnyside Boulevard, along with others on State and citywide.

•Bridge projects: Seek more funds for Grove Street Overcrossing. Seek funds for 156th St. NE overcrossing.

•Pavement preservation program. Laycock said Transportation Improvement Project funds have been more than expected so they could “kick out more overlays” than are scheduled.

He added unfunded projects are listed so they could be eligible for future grants. “It’s great to see so many fantastic projects in there,” Mayor Jon Nehring said.

Councilman Rob Toyer added, “It’s a responsible plan for the growth needs of the city.”

Project costs more

Also, the council approved another supplement to the cost of the State Avenue Improvement Project. This one, for $60,000, is for a revised watermain design, preparation of a wetland mitigation plan, utility coordination and relocation strategies, and extended right-of-way negotiations with property

owners. The new contract total is aaout $2.467 million – almost $1 million more than the original agreement. The city says this supplement will result in an improved project design, reduced risk and lower longterm maintenance needs. It also extends the project through June 30, 2020.

In other council news:

•Special event applications, which include some road closures, were OK’d for Relay of Life of Snohomish County and the Downtown Merchants Association. Relay for Life is an annual fundraising event benefitting the American Cancer Society, to be held July 20-21 at Asbery Field. Marysville Street Fair Handmade & Vintage, an annual street fair and marketplace event to promote local arts, crafts, food and fun in a family oriented environment, will be held Aug. 9-11.

•The lease with Marysville Little League for the use of Cedar Field was extended, after which the field will be renovated and a new lease negotiated. Thanks to state and county funds Cedar Field will be redesigned with lighting, turf installation and new netting by Dec. 31, 2020. “It will be all-weather, year-round and be a great addition for the community,” parks director Jim Ballew said, adding the new lease will have different costs but Little League is “elated we’re going through with this.”

•Condemnations were authorized for the widening of State Avenue from 100th to 116th streets. “The power of eminent domain will help move the project ahead,” City Attorney Jon Walker said.

•Eric Berg was appointed and Donna Wright and Robert Lovato reappointed to the Salary Commission. Councilman Jeff Vaughan encouraged the city to look for “new blood” for its committees, as that’s how he got his start. “It’s a good path,” he said.

•Chief Administrative Officer Gloria Hirashima said she wanted to make the council aware that noise complaints are coming in regarding truckloads of dirt coming to town and being dumped at night, disturbing people’s sleep. She also said counter-complaints are coming in from businesses trying to do the work, saying the city code curtails economic development. She said the situation could go on for 1 1/2 years. The council took no action.

•Hirashima said Wednesday that the Lake Stevens City Council Tuesday approved a roundabout at 83rd and Soper Hill Road that will be paid for by Marysville.

•Agreements were made with Anacortes for one movie and Kenmore for four movies for Outdoor Video Services. Ballew said renting equipment to other cities, along with providing staff, is helping the city “recover costs to maintain equipment” for its two systems. •Jamie Bergman, 26, formerly in Mukilteo, was sworn in as a new police officer.

•Ballew and others praised Maryfest for its well-run Strawberry Festival this year.

Keonig retires

MARYSVILLE – One of the fathers of the Cascade Industrial Center retired from the city this week.

Dave Koenig, the Community Development director, retired after four years with Marysville. He spent most of his career in Everett, but also worked in Richland.

“You can drive through a few communities and see his work,” Chief Administrative Officer Gloria Hirashima said at the City Council meeting Monday night.

Mayor Jon Nehring gave credit to Koenig for the Puget Sound Regional Council approving the MIC Thursday.

“He was with the PSRC every step of the way,” Nehring said. “He shepherded the whole process.”

After Koenig’s 40 years in public service, Nehring called it a “legacy item.”

The mayor also credited Koenig for improved customer service, including starting up an online permit process.

“Everybody wants everything yesterday,” Nehring said of permits.

Along with the MIC, the mayor said Koenig oversaw development that might be the biggest in the city’s history. “Permit money is coming into the city” in record amounts, he said, adding business and residential permits are booming.

Koenig said permits this year are actually ahead of the yearly totals of just a few years ago.

“We all know about the economic downturn,” he said. “This is just the opposite.”

Parks director Jim Ballew said Koenig’s background in architecture really helped with the Waterfront Plan.

Public Works director Kevin Nielsen said he was jealous that Koenig gets to retire. “You have forty years you can be proud of,” he said.

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