North County Outlook - Community newspaper serving Marysville, Arlington, Tulalip, Smokey Point, Lakewood

First Street road project aims to improve stormwater treatment


November 22, 2017 | View PDF

Christopher Andersson

A "bio-retention facility" installed earlier this year on downtown Marysville's Third Street that helps treat stormwater coming off the road using soil and natural methods.

Marysville's First Street will receive new landscaping meant to clean stormwater runoff before it heads into the Ebey Slough in the upcoming months.

Construction for the project began on Nov. 1 and is meant to improve the area between State Avenue to east of Cedar Avenue.

"This is another stormwater filtration project like we did on Third Street," said Adam Benton, city engineer and project manager for the construction.

"The overriding premise is to improve stormwater treatment," he said.

The "bio-retention facilities" use soil and plants to remove harmful materials from the water in a natural way.

The project is estimated to cost $911,537. The Washington State Department of Ecology is funding about half of the project while the City of Marysville is funding the rest.

"There's almost always a matching requirement from the jurisdiction that is receiving the grant," said Benton.

There will also be a couple of other improvements for the street, including replacing the 1950s era water main which would interfere with some of the bio-retention facilities that are being installed.

Near the entrance to Ebey Waterfront park there will also be a single set of "bulb outs" where the sidewalk will extend further into the street, said Benton.

"It will be better for pedestrian safety for those who are trying to cross that street to get to the park there," he said.

The extended sidewalks will make the road less wide in some areas, which Benton hopes will improve street safety.

"When you narrow the roads it tends to slow down the cars," he said.

The main improvements will be the bio-retention facilities, meant to improve the water quality of the Ebey Slough.

"Generally speaking, water from the road will carry petroleum products, possibly antifreeze if a car has a coolant leak and heavy metals as well," said Benton.

"Those can get into the ecosystem when you don't treat the water and we don't want that," he said.

The soil of the bio-retention facilities has microbes which can treat the water.

The city installed similar features into downtown Third Street earlier this year.

"These ones will be configured differently and will be a bit shallower than the ones on Third Street," said Benton.

Construction will continue until early next year.

Currently, officials hope to be done in February although ultimately the schedule will be determined by this winter's weather.

"If we have a harsh winter, that could push it more toward March," said Benton.

Crews will be able to keep two lanes of traffic open during most of the project, said Benton.

"There is a pretty wide road section so there will probably be two lanes open for the majority of the construction," he said.

"There may be just a single lane open possibly toward the end of the construction," he said.


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