The new Arlington Valley Road was recently opened and is meant to provide a better transportation network for local manufacturing businesses.
The corridor connects 67th Avenue with 204th Street and provides more direct access to some major local highways for companies that are moving manufacturing products through the region.
Arlington officials held a ribbon cutting ceremony on March 15 to celebrate the completed project.
“We’re very excited to be opening today what is now known as Arlington Valley Road,” said Arlington Mayor Barbara Tolbert.
“This project is going to support the development and the re-development of the northern area of the Arlington-Marysville Manufacturing Industrial Center,” she said.
The planned manufacturing center is meant to attract a lot more business around Smokey Point.
Local industry often has to use more complicated routes to get to the highway, usually off of 67th Avenue.
“This is going to give us a freight route that can take congestion off of 67th Avenue, our main arterial corridor for residents through here,” said Tolbert.
“We’re taking pressure of 67th Avenue and connecting local aerospace and advanced manufacturing companies to SR-9, SR-530 and SR-531,” said Tolbert.
The Arlington Valley Road has been part of the city’s transportation plan for more than a decade, however it was delayed as the recession halted business growth in the area.
Tolbert said that businesses are coming back to the area in part because of new infrastructure investment like Arlington Valley Road.
“News of this growth in construction has already spurred development in the Arlington-Marysville Manufacturing Industrial Center,” she said.
The former sites of Northwest Hardwoods and Hamptom Lumber are being redeveloped by other businesses in the hopes of attracting industry to the area.
The two-lane road was finished earlier this year and was already being used by walkers and bicyclists as a convenient pathway between the two areas of the city.
A wide pathway for bicyclists and pedestrians was included as part of the construction.
Washington state’s Transportation Improvement Board prefers to support “Complete Street” type of projects that will be usable for every type of commuter, said Ashley Probart, executive director of the board.
The board provided more than half of the funding for the project.
“We try to target our funding to complete the street and facility so that it is fully functional,” said Probart.
The project cost $4.83 million in total.
In addition to Transportation Improvement Board funds, the city provided some of the money from development fees and the Puget Sound Regional Council provided money from the Stillaguamish Valley Redevelopment Fund.
The Transportation Improvement Board represents cities, counties and the private sector with a portion of the state’s gas tax.
Over the last decade that includes about 10 projects and about $18 million of investment around Arlington.
“We’ve been very active in your city with the LED lights, this project and the upcoming roundabout,” said Probart.