With the new year comes a new 60-day state legislative session that begins on Jan. 10. Over the past several years, the City Council and I have been very successful in partnering with our local state legislators to obtain state funding for projects that are important to our community. We are grateful for strong working relationships with our legislators in Olympia who represent Marysville and surrounding areas.
In 2015, the state legislature approved the $16 billion Connecting Washington package. This ambitious 16-year transportation program includes two massive infrastructure projects that are very important for our community.
νNew I-5/SR 529 interchange and a new northbound HOV lane on I-5 between north Everett and south Marysville: Initial bids came in higher than the project budget, due in part to inflation, increased materials costs and labor shortages. WSDOT is refining project details and reviewing options for beginning construction this year. As a companion project, the city built the First Street Bypass that opened in 2020 to directly tie into this new interchange, providing a new south Marysville arterial connection that avoids congestion on 4th Street and the BNSF railroad tracks.
νNew I-5 interchange at 156th Street N.E.: This project is toward the end of the Connecting Washington timeline with design planned to begin in 2025 and the project constructed by 2031. Again, city leaders planned in advance for this project by building the 156th Street N.E. overcrossing in 2013 to provide east-west access between the Lakewood retail area and north Marysville. The new state-funded freeway interchange will serve the growing Cascade Industrial Center and offer an alternative to the congested Smokey Point interchange at 172nd Street NE (SR 531).
In our discussions with legislators, city leaders continue to stress the importance of these transportation improvements to Marysville residents, businesses and quality of life. We are fortunate that Sen. Marko Liias, the newly appointed chairman of the Senate Transportation Committee, is from Snohomish County and understands our significant transportation needs. Over the next few weeks, City Councilmembers and I will discuss with our state lawmakers in Olympia the city’s priorities for new state funding requests. These include:
Grove Street Overcrossing: The city is requesting $24 million to build an elevated roadway over the railroad tracks on Grove Street between State and Cedar avenues. Routing traffic away from the railroad crossing will help ease downtown congestion and increase east-west connectivity.
Marysville-Lake Stevens Trail Connector: The cities of Marysville and Lake Stevens are developing a trail system using the existing transmission power line corridor. Developing this new trail segment will offer residents a southern connection to the regional Centennial Trail. Marysville is requesting $500,000 for property acquisition.
156th Street NE Railroad Overcrossing: The city is requesting $500,000 to design an elevated roadway over the railroad crossing that was closed to public use in the early 2000s. This overcrossing would provide neighborhoods in the Lakewood area west of I-5 with direct access to the state’s planned and funded 156th Street NE freeway interchange coming in the next few years.
Comeford Park Redesign: With construction underway on the city’s new Civic Center and an adjoining public plaza adjacent to Comeford Park, the city is requesting $500,000 to build improvements for the park. Park improvements would serve thousands of residents and visitors while helping to revitalize the downtown area as envisioned in our Downtown Master Plan.
In addition to these specific project funding requests, the city is asking the Legislature to continue to engage with law enforcement including our Police Department regarding potential amendments to police reform bills enacted in 2021 and evaluation of future police reforms.
Jon Nehring has been Mayor of Marysville since 2010. You can reach him at 360-363-8000 or email@example.com.