Broadway Bridge project start date pushed back again
EVERETT – The bulk of the work for the Broadway Bridge replacement project will be happening next year, a city official said last week.
The city is still finalizing negotiations with Burlington Northern Santa Fe to replace the heavily traveled century-old bridge over the railroad tracks.
The timeline has been repeatedly pushed backed from last year’s January start date largely because the city is still negotiating with the railroad.
Earlier this year, Mayor Ray Stephanson had hoped construction would start this month.
City engineer Ryan Sass now hopes to get the project to bid this fall, with construction ramping up in January, he said last week.
The city can’t build the bridge in late fall and winter regardless of the weather because Burlington prohibits construction over the tracks during the fourth quarter of the year, Sass said.
Most of the negotiations are complete, including having Burlington pay about half of the cost of the city’s $1.7 million match for its federal grant.
The city is set to get $7.3 million in federal bridge replacement dollars for the $9 million project.
The 101-year-old bridge needs to be replaced for safety reasons. When the bridge work starts, the major north-south crossing will be closed for one year for construction.
Meanwhile, the City Council is being asked to add $525,000 to its contract with contractor TranTech Engineering. The increase is needed because the bridge will need more engineering work, but the additional money still keeps the project under budget, Sass said.
TranTech’s contract would net the company $2 million if the council approves the addition this week.
The city has to work with Burlington because in 1900 the city signed a deal with a corporate predecessor of Burlington’s called the St. Paul, Minneapolis and Manitoba Railway to have the railroad build this bridge and many others for the right to bring tracks through downtown with the trade-off that the railroad gave the city pre-eminent domain to the land. The contract also requires the railroad to maintain the bridge, but has the city maintain the pavement and sidewalks.
More than 30,000 vehicles use the bridge daily, according to city traffic estimates. Engineers found almost one-third of those vehicles are passing through Everett to get to Marysville via Broadway.
The Broadway Bridge is just north of Hewitt Avenue. The bridge was built in 1912 and was modified in 1931 to add wider sidewalks and change the bridge deck.
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