As 2018 comes to an end Marysville Mayor Jon Nehring said that city officials used the year to set up a number of projects that will begin in 2019.
“It was a good year for Marysville and I think the thing we’re excited about is that several of the major projects that we’ve wanted to do are funded and set for construction in the next couple of years,” he said.
Those plans include upcoming transportation construction, the city’s new public safety building and some improvements to local trails.
The state funding for a new interchange in southern Marysville between I-5 and SR-529 was secured a few years ago but will now be coming to the city in 2019.
“This will finally give us a way in and out of the city that doesn’t go through the trains,” said Nehring.
The Fourth Street entrance into the downtown and 88th Street are two of the city’s biggest traffic problems and Nehring hopes that a new interchange will help with the former.
“Most people use Exit 199 and it causes a lot of traffic, especially when there’s a train coming through,” said Nehring.
“It will split off a lot of traffic that is crowding out the Fourth Street exit,” he said.
The city will also be putting money toward a First Street bypass project, which will allow commuters taking that new interchange to drive on an alternate route to east Marysville.
“The First Street bypass will allow you to come right off that interchange and take a right,” said Nehring.
“It will get you in Sunnyside or up to Highway 9,” he said.
City officials hopes to begin the bypass project by the end of the year and the interchange the end of 2019 or the beginning of 2020.
A couple other transportation projects are also getting off the ground, said Nehring, but are further away.
Planning to expand State Avenue to five lanes from 100th Street to 116th Street will begin as some funding for that project has been secured.
That section of State Avenue is the last part of the street that is not five lanes.
“Anytime you have a five-lane corridor and it scrunches down to three lanes, it creates a congestion point,” said Nehring.
Design work for a potential Grove Street over crossing is also in the works. Although the city does not have funding for the construction yet, Nehring said that local officials hope to obtain some in the next couple of years.
The city’s new public safety building, which will house the city jail and be the main station for the Marysville Police Department, is also scheduled to start construction this year.
Marysville voters approved a 0.1 percent sales tax this summer to construct the building, which will be near Comeford Park.
“We haven’t raised the city’s portions of property taxes in about a decade,” said Nehring, “so we don’t go to the citizens unless it’s really needed.”
The last public safety building was approved by voters in the 1980s.
“We were a city of 10,000 and the police department was a fraction of what it is now,” said Nehring.
“It just wouldn’t be worth it to put the money into that building when it wouldn’t be adequate,” he said.
The city remains one of the only in the region with a jail, which Nehring said is important for their philosophy of criminal enforcement.
“It’s important for us to continue have a jail facility into the future,” he said.
City officials hope to put the project out to bid in the spring and begin construction in the fall.
The old building will likely be sold off, said Nehring, although it is currently jointly used by the Marysville Fire District (a separate entity from the city), so those issues will have to be worked out.
Recreation projects like the Bayview Trail and Ebey Waterfront Trail also have planned improvements coming into 2019.
The final two stages of the Ebey Waterfront Trail are scheduled for the upcoming year.
“In my time here that’s been one of the most popular trails or parks that we’ve done,” said Nehring. “It opens up a part of Marysville that a good chunk of our population never gets to see.”
The extensions will provide more area for locals to walk along the estuary.
“You’ll have longer walks on either side when you want to come in off Sunnyside or coming from the Ebey Waterfront Park area,” said Nehring.