The City of Lynnwood and its partners celebrated the completion of the 33rd Avenue West Extension project with a ribbon cutting and grand opening ceremony Wednesday morning.
The new roadway is part of the new 40-acre Lynnwood Place development, north of the Alderwood Mall. An intersection was constructed on 184th Street SW, east of the existing 33rd Avenue W. intersection. The new roadway extends north from the new intersection to the existing intersection at Alderwood Mall Parkway and Maple Road.
The project, which is on property owned by the Edmonds School District, cost $11.2 million and took about a decade to complete from start to finish, according to Lynnwood Public Works Director Bill Franz.
Four main entities financed the road: Cypress Equities, the real estate development company ($4 million); Edmonds School District ($2.5 million); Washington State Transportation Improvement Board grant ($3 million) and the City of Lynnwood ($2 million).
“It’s really important that we celebrate our successes,” Franz said. “This is a huge success for Lynnwood. … If it wasn’t for the partnerships, we probably wouldn’t be standing here.”
The road was built at the same time that work was being done on the new Costco, which is scheduled to open Oct. 1. It was important the road be completed before Costco opened; the project was finished on time and within its financial plan, Franz said.
The road features three new lanes of traffic, which are designed to keep traffic moving in and around Lynnwood Place. It will provide regional connections and includes future expansion possibilities, Franz added.
“This project is also a model of a public-private partnership that provides infrastructure for economic development,” Lynnwood Mayor Nicola Smith said. “The partners worked together to define the project, prepare the design, secure needed resources and complete construction. These efforts demonstrate for others how essential infrastructure may be provided by working together. It is not possible to fund and build an $11 million dollar project unless we work together.”
The Lynnwood City Council also was involved in the process and was asked six different times during a two-year period to deal with various aspects of the project ranging from zoning, funding and environmental laws.
“This is a big deal for us,” said City Council President Loren Simmonds, a 1974 graduate of Lynnwood High School, which used to be located on the property.
It likely will be a long time before the City sees a project this big and complex, Simmonds added.
Greg Armstrong, region engineer for the Washington State Transportation Improvement Board, noted that what the State wanted was exactly what it got with the project. The grant was for roadway improvements that are tied to development.
“We wanted projects where roadway improvements will be done when the development is open,” Armstrong said. “Its’ a great success for the City.”
Armstrong presented a plaque to Mayor Smith in recognition of the successful completion of the project.
Stewart Mhyre, Edmonds School District Executive Director of Business and Operations, told the audience that the origins of the project go back to 2006 when the voters passed a bond issue that rebuilt Lynnwood High School at a new location and made Lynnwood Place possible. The revenue generated by Lynnwood Place will go directly into the maintenance of the 33 schools/buildings in the Edmonds School District.
“That will have a direct impact on the taxpayers of our district,” Mhyre said. “This will go on for generations and generations to come.”
– By David Pan