Broadway Bridge delayed again to 2015
EVERETT — The long-delayed Broadway Bridge replacement project hit another speed bump that will spiral the start date out to next year.
Funding was the issue this time, after the city didn’t receive the full grant amount it anticipated from the state Department of Transportation. City traffic mitigation coffers will backfill the almost $1 million gap.
The new timeframe to demolish the bridge and build a new one now is early 2015. When construction starts, the bridge will be closed up to one year.
The 102-year-old Broadway Bridge over the Burlington Northern Santa Fe railroad tracks and just north of the Hewitt-Broadway intersection is overdue for replacement.
The bridge may be living on borrowed time, but a key city official said last week the bridge is safe.
“The good news for drivers and Everett residents is that we just completed an inspection of the bridge and there is no need for an immediate closure,” city engineer Ryan Sass said in a media statement. “Our first priority is to keep drivers safe while we try to minimize impacts to this important roadway.”
About five years ago, an engineering firm identified cracks under the bridge.
In response, the city directed trucks to use the inner lanes of the bridge and prohibited parking on the bridge.
The new construction time frame is 2015 because construction crews are not allowed to work over the tracks during the months of October, November and December due to increased rail traffic during the holiday season.
Since construction is not expected to begin in the fall, the city anticipates that the contractor will likely choose to not close the bridge until January at the earliest, city spokeswoman Meghan Pembroke said. That decision of when to close the road will be up to the contractor.
The bridge replacement was delayed repeatedly in the past as the city spent two years negotiating with Burlington to contribute to the bridge’s cost.
Now, Burlington is set to contribute about $800,000 to the $13 million project. The contribution sounds low but was exactly what the city once sought in negotiations — to get Burlington to pay about half of the cost of the city’s $1.7 million match for a federal grant, or a contribution of $850,000.
The state DOT funding delay was a blindside to city officials earlier this year.
The city asked for $4.4 million and thought it would get all of that, but was given $3.4 million by the DOT. The city lobbied for the full amount but was rebuffed.
More than 30,000 vehicles pass daily over this stretch of the bridge between Hewitt Avenue and California Street.
A large number of drivers use Broadway to bypass Interstate 5 to get to and from Marysville. Those drivers will be directed to stay on Interstate 5 to reduce congestion.
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