Lynnwood Public Works: Building a better Lynnwood

LYNNWOOD, Wash., August 11, 2022 – The Lynnwood Public Works Department had a busy year in 2021 with many more projects coming through in 2022 and beyond!

Even though this year will be mostly “designing and planning”, Public Works Director Bill Franz told the Lynnwood Times, the prep work will pay off as the city continues to prepare for growth.

“It’s been pretty amazing that despite COVID and everything it’s done to us, and continues to do to us, we’ve still managed to keep the projects and the work coming,” Franz told the Lynnwood Times. “That’s something that I’m really proud of despite trying to figure out a new way of working and staying safe.”

Lift Stations 4 and 8. Source: Lynnwood Public Works.

His Department’s focus for capital projects involve completion of 196th Street Improvement Project, Poplar Way Bridge Extension, updating the Waste Water Treatment Facility, and building a new North-South road through the City Center called the 42nd Street Avenue West Project. Many of these projects are in their design and plan phase, as Franz noted, with the construction focused on completing 196th by the City’s goal of 2023.

In addition to capital projects, the Department paved Scriber Lake Road (just south of 196th), 200th (just east of Highway 99), 48th (just west of Fred Meyer), and 44th (just south of 212th) last year. Paving will continue throughout 2022 allocating $2.5 million from its budget as well as an additional $2.5 million from American Rescue Plan Act funds.

The Department also upgraded water and sewer around the light rail station construction (48th and 200th), completed Sewer Lift Station #8 (just south of Alderwood Mall) and activated new sewer force mains in the mall and city center areas which were constructed over the past few years, while completing the ADA Transition Plan to make the city more ADA accessible, to name a few.

For the latest citywide Lynnwood Public Works updates, follow them on twitter: @lynnwoodstreets.

196th Street Construction

Source: Lynnwood Public Works.

196th Street is undergoing construction while still serving 50,000 vehicles per day, with most work conducted at night. This project involves one mile of widening, starting at 48th by Fred Meyer, and sidewalk improvements. It began predesign in 2008 and is projected to be complete next year, costing a total of around $50 million.

Source: Lynnwood Public Works.

“We’re about halfway through,” Franz said. “Really the biggest reason it’s taking so long is we’ve had to keep the road open. If we could close it down we could probably get it done in half the time, I’m sure, and for less money too, but we don’t have a choice.”

Source: Lynnwood Public Works.

196th is one of Lynnwood’s oldest roads and not without its complications. When builders began digging it up, they found everything from an old two-lane brick road buried beneath to tanks and water pipes long forgotten.

“We knew this project would throw us some curve balls, but it’s gone well,” Franz said.

Source: Lynnwood Public Works.

Franz noted the project is still on track to be completed on time, and in budget, but the city will know for sure once they’ve completed their 2022 biennium budget for capital projects.

Beech Road

Beech Road is set to receive 1,000 feet of new street, upgraded sidewalks, bicycle lanes, and improved business access by 2023. This project, which began predesign 2007, has now been fully funded at a cost of $4 million.

Source: Lynnwood Public Works.

Once complete, Beech Road will serve 3,000 vehicles per day. The road will create a new west leg to the intersection by the old Sears at Alderwood Mall and run a new arterial up around the backside of Beech, eventually extending along the backside of Target. It will then connect up north, providing another route for people to get around these businesses and improve access to them.

“Having another connection in that area is forward-thinking, and now we need to start planning for these early. It takes 10 to 15 years to get these built,” David Mach, City Engineer, said.

Poplar Bridge

Source: Lynnwood Public Works.

While other transportation capital projects are undergoing progression and completion, some, like the Poplar bridge, are awaiting the necessary funding to begin. This project aims to create an entirely new bridge over I-5 involving six lanes with sidewalks and would require the intersections to be raised slightly to allow room for its expansion.

There are roughly four or five different crossings identified in Lynnwood, according to Mach, and by adding another, City Planning believes this could be the biggest solution for congestion relief as the city prepares for growth in upcoming years.

The design and property acquisitions are almost finished and the bridge is projected to serve 30,000 vehicles per day, with a cost estimated at $49 million ($39 million of which is needed to begin construction). Predesign began in 2008.

On August 9, 2022, the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) awarded a $25 million grant to the new six-lane, multimodal bridge project. The funding was awarded through the Rebuilding American Infrastructure with Sustainability and Equity (RAISE) Discretionary Grant Program, which enables communities of all sizes to carry out projects with significant local or regional impact, thanks to the efforts of Representative Rick Larsen (WA-02) and Suzan DelBene (WA-01).

“This investment is great news for Lynnwood and surrounding communities after years of working with local leaders and stakeholders to secure funding,” said Rep. Rick Larsen (WA-02). “The Poplar Way Bridge creates more jobs and opportunity for residents and businesses while reducing congestion and carbon emissions and building a more equitable transportation system for all.”

“This bridge project has been years in the making,” said Rep. Suzan DelBene (WA-01). “The I-5 choke point creates huge delays for commuters. Building this new connection will alleviate congestion and help us accommodate the growing population in the area.”

Waste Water Treatment Facility

The Lynnwood Wastewater Treatment Plant (WWTP), which received its original primary treatment 60 years ago, expanded primary treatment 40 years ago, and expansion to provide secondary treatment 30 years ago, is in much need of an update.

Source: Lynnwood Public Works.

Most of the equipment at the Wastewater Treatment Plant is 30 to 40 years old, is difficult to maintain, and spare parts are often unavailable for the aging equipment. The maximum daily flow exceeds capacity for most processes, peak wet weather storm flows necessitate bypass of partially treatment wastewater, and the current plant configurations is complicated and limits site utilization for expanded capacity.

There are also permit issues involved with air quality violations related to sludge incineration.

The Department of Ecology issued the Puget Sound Nutrient General Permit (PSNGP), which went into effect January 2022, based on water quality standards for dissolved oxygen not being met in many locations in Puget Sound.

The PSNGP applies to 58 domestic WWTPs discharging to the Puget Sound and Salish sea and aims to address decreasing oxygen levels caused by nutrient discharge.

With the projected growth of Lynnwood, with the light rail expansion, the future service area population is predicted to need to serve 74,400 by 2050. Currently the service area population the site is capable of serving is 38,150. This also takes into consideration new 2,000-unit multi-family complexes that are currently being planned to be built in the area near-term.

The treatment plants current loading capacity is 5 million gallons per day (MGD) and 10,200 pounds per day of biochemical oxygen demand (BOD). By the year 2050 the treatment plant is predicted to need a capacity to load 8.92 MGD and 17,800 per day of BOD.

Franz informed the Lynnwood Times that all of the work needed to do at the treatment plant will not affect the opening of Light Rail and the project is currently in “full study mode” with the comprehensive plan being worked on as well as the three year update on utility rates.

Utilities operate a little different than general government, using a separate enterprise fund that have to be self sufficient. In other words, most of the funding comes from the rates in which they city charges their customers for water, sewer, stormwater, and others.

“We’re on track to meet the short-term stuff. The longer term stuff is what we’re planning for right now,” Franz said. “It’s all coming together over the next few months what our plans are,”

The plant’s necessary upgrades could cost up to $200 million.

42nd Avenue West Project

A new grid street at 42nd Ave West will be a completely new roadway in the heart of the Lynnwood City Center, running from Veterans Way South to Alderwood Mall Blvd. It will be 2,000 feet, aiding to break down super blocks, improve business access, and offer bicycle facilities and two to three vehicle lanes, and will have 16-foot-wide sidewalks, offering a new connection point for pedestrians to gain better access to businesses.

Source: Lynnwood Public Works.

“It just feels more like a pedestrian oriented street,” David Mach said.

This project is currently in its design and right-of-way phase and will cost somewhere in the range of $1 million. Preliminary steps have already been made.

Potholes

Lynnwood Public Works filled a total of 231 potholes last year and are reviewing new strategies to preserve the city’s roads long term leading up into colder months this winter, recently attending a conference on cold weather preparation back East. The conference, Franz said, gave the Department many new ideas they hope to try this upcoming winter to preserve the city’s roads from harsh weather.

To learn more about potholes, check out the Lynnwood Times article, Insurgence of potholes: Where did they come from and what is the Snohomish County doing about it?

Other 2021 highlights

In 2021 Lynnwood Public Works:

  • Pumped 4.31 million gallons of sewage
  • Incinerated 2.8 million pounds of solids
  • Planted 549 trees with tree vouchers
  • Released 30,000 Coho salmon in Hall Lake
  • Built 218 crosswalks with new Thermoplastic
  • Replaced 29 non-compliant storm drain lids in bike lanes
  • Made 6 water main repairs
  • Made 34 water service replacements or repairs
  • Installed, replace, or serviced 300 water meters
  • Cleaned 3.63 miles of sewer mains
  • Inspected 3,237 catch basins, cleaned 978, and repaired 17
  • Cleaned 373 signs
  • Brought 17 new vehicles to service
  • Completed 1,075 fleet work orders services
  • Held 4 recycling events

Kienan Briscoe

Michael Kienan Briscoe (referred to by his middle name 'Kienan') has a BA in Journalism from Arizona State University and has worked as a freelancer for a variety of publications and organizations throughout New York City and Seattle. Journalism, to him, is one of the most important public tools to ensure an educated and aware society of events surrounding them. When he is not reporting he enjoys writing fiction and poetry, playing guitar, reading classic literature, and getting outdoors. He lives in Seattle with his two dogs.

Kienan Briscoe has 284 posts and counting. See all posts by Kienan Briscoe

2 thoughts on “Lynnwood Public Works: Building a better Lynnwood

  • August 12, 2022 at 7:32 PM
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    Great to see all the work accomplished + what is planned for the future

    Reply

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