City gets $3.2 million to finish Tjerne Place extension
MONROE - The city finally found the funds to finish the namesake street of former Mayor Gordon Tjerne.
Tjerne Place will be extended as it was intended to be before the city ran out of money to complete the project in 2008. Finishing the street that provides access to stores along U.S. Highway 2 is priority number one on the city’s transportation improvement project list.
The Tjerne Place extension will start at the intersection of Chain Lake Road and Tjerne and will extend east to connect up with Oak Street, behind the Albertson’s.
The street will be extended by approximately 1,200 feet.
The extension will relieve congestion as well as provide access to shopping.
“Right now, anyone who comes down Old Owen or Woods Creek, if they want to go to the theater or shopping along North Kelsey, they have to come down on Highway 2 and cut over to where they want to go,” senior engineer Jim Gardner said. “This will get traffic off Highway 2 and relieve congestion there.”
The project will likely begin construction this spring and will likely take two years, Gardner said.
In November, Gardner got word that Monroe was awarded three grants that he had applied for, totaling nearly $3.5 million.
The Tjerne Place extension will receive $3.2 million while two other asphalt overlay projects will receive $336,000. The grants, which come from the state Transportation Improvement Board (TIB), require the city to contribute 15 percent of the cost.
The TIB is funded by a five-cent gas tax, which was signed into law by former Gov. Christine Gregoire.
The entire Tjerne Place extension project is estimated to cost $4.8 million, Gardner said.
Because the Snohomish County Public Utility District purchased property near the future project and is planning on having an office behind the Safeway, $950,000 of the total cost will be picked up by the PUD, Gardner said.
“I was thrilled when they agreed to that,” Gardner said. “They’re going to eventually move their office up there, and they wanted access from that yard down to Woods Creek Road.”
The city will need to come up with $700,000, Gardner said.
Finishing Tjerne Place has been “on the city’s books for close to 10 years,” Gardner said. “They’ve been looking at it, wanting to get it done and figure out how they’re going to pay for it.”
Depending on how the project goes, the city may be required to purchase some land for the road’s right of way, Gardner said.
The other two asphalt overlay projects from the state TIB include $115,000 to grind and overlay Fryelands Boulevard northbound from 152nd to Wales, as well as $221,000 to grind and overlay Main Street from 173rd to the roundabout.
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