The city of Arlington broke ground on their new building for Fire Station 48 on Sept. 21 which is scheduled to be completed in about a year.
"Normally we try to do more of an event, but we held a low-key gathering," on that day because of the pandemic, said Paul Ellis, Arlington city administrator.
The new building will be at the corner of Airport Boulevard and 43rd Avenue.
The current Fire Station 48 is located at 18824 Smokey Point Boulevard, in Arlington, however that building is being leased by the city.
"The planning for this project goes back about to 12 years ago when we started the design work," said Ellis.
However, during the planning the 2008 economic recession began and the city had to put the project on hold and instead opted to lease a building for their fire station.
The original project was going to be located elsewhere. "Airport Boulevard didn't even exist at the time," said Ellis, but now that road is built and the city is using some of their property nearby.
Arlington is still in their lease for the current Station 48, however "the building owner needs that building back now," so the city has until October of next year before they have to move out.
"So we're in a position where we need to build a building now," said Ellis.
The new fire station will be only a little bit bigger than the current building.
"We added a little bit of space for another fire engine," said Ellis. "That will give a place for the fire department to meet and train and also another room for the public in that area to meet."
There is also room at the new location available for a future expansion if that is necessary, said Ellis.
Contractors began work on the new building on Sept. 21.
"They have 12 months scheduled to complete the project," said Ellis.
The city hopes to be able to open the new Fire Station 48 sometime in September 2021.
Although the construction market had been booming for quite a while coming into 2020, Ellis said they went out to bid during a bit of a lull time.
"We happened to come in at a good time for the bidding market," he said.
The architect's estimate for the project was $4.8 million and the final bid came in at $3.69 million.
The construction work will be largely contained to the property so Ellis said there aren't a lot of traffic impacts expected.
"And it is on Airport Boulevard which is a fairly low traffic road already," he said.
More information and updates about the project are available at arlingtonwa.gov/682.