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Construction workers work on some of the final grinding and paving on the First Street Bypass project on Aug. 28.

 

Construction crews are currently putting the finishing touches on Marysville's First Street Bypass.

The extension of First Street will provide another east-west route that connects Marysville's downtown to the residential neighborhoods around the Sunnyside area.

The $13 million project could be the largest transportation project the city has ever funded by itself.

"We couldn't find a bigger project from the city's history," said Connie Mennie, communications administrator with the city of Marysville.

The city has partnered with federal and state agencies for bigger projects in the city, but this new road is likely the biggest that city officials have paid for and taken on themselves.

The idea to create an extension of First Street had been planned by city officials for more than a decade, but officials felt the time to move forward was now because of a planned interchange at SR-529 and I-5 that will bring more traffic to that section of downtown Marysville.

"It is planned in conjunction with the new SR-529 freeway interchange which is a big WSDOT project," said Mennie.

The city began acquiring property and started design work a couple of years ago for the First Street Bypass. "We knew it was a big project and would take a while to complete," said Mennie.

Once the new road is open it is expected to help traffic in the area.

"It will be a way for folks from Sunnyside and that growing area to get in and out of the city without going through Fourth Street," which is one of the busiest roadways currently in the city, said Mennie.

Now the construction is nearing completion.

"The First Street Bypass is entering its final stages," said Mennie. "Now on First Street they are doing the final grinding and paving for the intersection."

Sections of First Street around the downtown area were closed between Aug. 27 and Sept. 1 for the work.

"In a couple of weeks they'll fill the intersection," with final touches such as the sidewalks, said Mennie.

The project is finishing a couple of months ahead of schedule.

In the spring of 2019 construction workers brought in material meant to stabilize the new roadway, which had to firmly set before further work could proceed.

"That is the part we didn't know how long would take," said Mennie, but fortunately that ended up being a couple of months quicker than scheduled.

"We're looking to open the road in the first week of October," said Mennie, although the exact date is not pinned down yet.

"We're planning to do some sort of virtual celebration," she said. "It's hard to have a big party with COVID going on," but they want to have some sort of online recognition of the opening of the project.

During that time the city will put out some official messaging to tell people that the new road is open for cars and pedestrians, Mennie said.

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