State Avenue will be five lanes for the entirety of it’s run once a new bridge is built for the 100th Street area.
Construction of the bridge and other improvements for the area of State Avenue between 100th and 104th streets is scheduled to begin early in 2020.
The project is estimated to cost $11.8 million and $6.2 million of that is coming from the Washington State Transportation Improvement Board while the rest of the funds are coming from the city through its Streets Capital Improvements Fund.
“Revenues for this fund are generated through grants, loans, developer mitigation fees, and real estate excise taxes,” said Pat Gruenhagen, city project manager.
Construction is expected to last until fall of 2021.
This area of State Avenue is the only section of the street that hasn’t received improvements in the past two decades.
Because of the culvert the project would be the most difficult and expensive to replace as it required building a new bridge across Quilceda Creek.
That means that it is the only portion of State Avenue remaining at three lanes, which can cause problems during high traffic volume times.
“Since it lies in such close proximity to I-5 — paralleling the interstate for a number of miles — State Avenue has traditionally served as the ‘go-to’ alternate route when incidents occur on the freeway within the Marysville area,” said Gruenhagen.
“When this is the case, substantial volumes of traffic are suddenly introduced to State Avenue, and the five-lane roadway section is much more able to handle this demand than the current three-lane section,” he said.
More cars will be able to get onto this section of State Avenue with five lanes as well, he said.
Gruenhagen also added that the expansion is meant to support further growth in the city, which most projections say is coming.
“This is also one of the underlying reasons for the current project — knowing that as the population grows and demands on the city’s transportation network continue to rise, the added lanes will provide the necessary capacity to keep pace with growing demand and thereby reduce the likelihood of future congestion,” he said.
The new bridge is expected to be an improvement over the current culvert for the Quilceda Creek. A large portion of the stream is currently covered by an “earthen embankment” that the roadway is on top of.
“By replacing this with a bridge, it opens up the area dramatically, creating new wildlife habitat where once there was none,” said Gruenhagen.
The city is also responsible for wetland restoration in those areas, he said.
“Lastly, fish passage will be vastly improved as well, as the open stream channel will prove superior to the culvert in allowing fish to traverse the area unimpeded,” he said.
A number of other improvements are meant to improve the roadway conditions for drivers and pedestrians.
Five-foot-wide sidewalks are planned for both sides of the roadway, along with a cement concrete curb.
“This will provide a safer means for pedestrians to travel the corridor, particularly in the area of the stream crossing,” said Gruenhagen.
Lights are also planned for the new bridge.
“They will be ‘decorative’ luminaries, very similar to those found along State Avenue to the north and south,” said Gruenhagen.
Strider Construction is the contractor for the project and Gruenhagen said the city is working with them to reduce traffic impacts.
“This will include a construction phasing scheme that allows for traffic to be routed around construction areas utilizing temporary lane shifts that will keep two lanes of traffic flowing just as they do today,” said Gruenhagen.
“Intermittent traffic interruptions may be necessary for the setting of bridge girders and other critical activities, but they will be kept brief,” he said.