Friday, June 14, 2024
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Edgewater Bridge replacement to start later this summer

Drivers will need to find alternative routes to Everett


Mukilteo residents who like to take the back roads to Everett will soon need to find another way to reach their neighbor to the north.

The construction of the new Edgewater Bridge means Mukilteo Boulevard will be closed to through traffic starting this summer. A date for the closure and the replacement of the 78-year-old bridge has yet to be announced since the bid for the replacement was recently awarded. The bridge is in Everett, and the City of Everett is handling the $34 million replacement project. The project is backed by $28 million in federal grants and $6 million in local funds.

The bridge was built in 1946 and is at the end of its useful life, authorities say. The bridge is safe for daily use but operates under weight restrictions and was determined to be vulnerable to failure in an earthquake.

“It is a fairly used road to get into Everett and Mukilteo,” said Mukilteo Public Works Director Matt Nienhuis. “It will cause Mukilteo Lane to be closed for the duration of the project, as well as Fifth Street. All the traffic will need to go up to 525. It’s going to cause an inconvenience. It’s well worth having.

It’ll be a short-term pain for a much-needed bridge replacement.”

While the new bridge is built, Mukilteo Boulevard will be closed for about a year. The City of Everett estimates common driving trips will take five to 15 minutes longer during the closure, based on a driver’s origin and destination. City staff determined there was no economically feasible way to keep the bridge partially open while it was rebuilt.

That means Mukilteo School District buses will operate under alternative/detour routes for the 2024-25 school year.

“The Edgewater Bridge is an essential connection between Everett and Mukilteo, a roadway many of our residents, visitors, and workforce rely upon daily, so I’m very glad the replacement will start soon,” said Everett Mayor Cassie Franklin. “I want to thank Rep. Rick Larsen for being a tireless advocate for the infrastructure investments Everett needs to ensure our resiliency, create more jobs, and keep people and our economy moving.”

Three major bridges along Mukilteo Boulevard are within Everett city limits. Engineering assessments of the bridges determined that two of the three, Edgewater and Merrill and Ring Creek, would be vulnerable in a major earthquake and need replacement. The third bridge, Maple Heights, underwent seismic retrofitting in 2020. If two of the three bridges along West Mukilteo Boulevard were lost in a major earthquake, portions of several neighborhoods could be isolated with no road access in or out.

“The new bridge is a long-term investment in our transportation system and will provide a safe connection between our communities for years to come,” said Ryan Sass, director of Public Works. “We know this project will be an inconvenience for residents of our region, but rest assured that we are taking every step possible to keep the project moving forward and on schedule. The greater inconvenience to our community would be the failure of the bridge in an earthquake.”

The City said there will be no pedestrian access from one side of the project to the other. The City has plans to provide access along the closed portion of West Mukilteo Boulevard and Mukilteo Lane on the Mukilteo side of the project to allow pedestrians and bicyclists to access the Mount Baker crossing.

The bridge straddles the border of Everett and Mukilteo and welcomes travelers into both cities. The new bridge will have the same number of travel lanes as the current bridge and  include bicycle lanes and wider sidewalks. The bridge will be built to modern seismic safety standards and feature 12-foot travel lanes in each direction, 6.5-foot sidewalks on each side of the bridge, and 5-foot bike lanes on each side between the sidewalk and the road.

During construction, portions of Edgewater Park will be used for construction staging. The park will be renovated once the new bridge is complete and Mukilteo Boulevard is reopened.

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