Comcast will provide the latest infrastructure improvement to the north Marysville area that is planned for manufacturing and industrial jobs.

They are building a high-speed fiber-optic network in the area that will provide up to 10 gigabits per second which they expect will be finished by spring of 2018.

Comcast announced the $1.5 million investment on Sept. 18.

Marysville and Arlington officials have been trying to build up the area for family-wage jobs, including getting a manufacturing-industrial designation for the land just south of Smokey Point.

During that work infrastructure improvements have gone in, including the latest addition of high-speed internet.

"This is one of the areas where there was a gap in high-speed internet and Comcast helped to fill that gap," said Marysville Mayor Jon Nehring.

"In this day and age you need to have these capabilities for most big-time industry," he said.

In talks with prospective businesses, some have specifically mentioned the internet concerns, said Nehring.

"Some of the businesses that we've talked to have been asking about when this area would have internet," he said.

The city has also done other work in the area the past couple of years. "We've been doing a lot of work to get this area prepared," he said.

The Marysville City Council has authorized a road loop for the area, which is hoped to improve traffic flow.

"It really opens up the area," said Nehring. "Localized road connectivity is important so you're not funneling everyone down the same road paths."

The Washington state legislature's transportation package from 2016 also included funding a full interchange at 156th Street.

"And that is a really big deal, a $40-plus million project that will allow people to shoot right off the freeway to this area," said Nehring.

That interchange is still a few years down the road though.

In addition, the city has built a utility substation and two stormwater ponds in the area to provide the basic utilities in the area.

"Everything is pretty well ready to go now," said Nehring. "For planning purposes businesses will know what is available in the area now."

Nehring said that as these improvements have gone in there are more businesses showing interest in moving in.

"Word is getting around and we have had quite a bit of interest," he said, "there have more and more meetings, it's been a noticeable uptick."

The end goal for the city would be to bring family-wage jobs to the city.

"Marysville has a lot of commercial, retail, recreation and housing, but not a lot of family-wage jobs," said Nehring, and he hopes more local manufacturing and industrial jobs would provide a way for locals to work close to their home and support a family.

The north Marysville area just off of I-5 has been an attractive location for many but that local officials have been trying to save it for good jobs.

"There have been a lot of people who have wanted to use that area to build houses, but the council and I have felt strongly that we should save that for a job space," he said.


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