More Marysville jobs could add to area traffic woes
One of the worst drives in our region is the stretch of I-5 between Everett and Marysville. It backs up at all hours of the day, any day of the week.
That congestion could get worse before it gets better if Marysville is successful with its future plans — more Marysville jobs.
Marysville wants to add thousands of jobs to its community. It has partnered with nearby Arlington to create a light industry and manufacturing center between the two cities. Marysville is a great place to live and recreate, but not work, according to its mayor.
“What we haven’t done real well … is there’s not a lot of great work opportunities here,” Marysville Mayor Jon Nehring said. “So most of our folks are commuters. It is a bedroom community. We’d like to change that over the years. That’s a long-term plan, not something you change overnight. But we have been working steadily on that.”
Before Nehring became mayor, he commuted from Marysville to West Seattle, so he knows that daily I-5 grind. But for the long-term health of his city, he knows the town has to grow.
“We would like to retain our small town charm, while also offering the amenities of a mid-size city,” Nehring said.
Growing Marysville jobs
And that means adding viable jobs so people choose to stay in Marysville and avoid the long commute.
“We think it’s reasonable to attract 10,000 family-wage jobs, again, over a significant amount of time – over the next year or two,” Nehring said. “We think there’s room for that.”
To handle the potential growth and what that might mean to an already crowded I-5, Marysville and Arlington are already working to mitigate the impact. They have built a new freeway overpass at 156th St. (near Twin Lakes) that will eventually have ramps from the freeway.
“We have an overcrossing that’s designed to be a full interchange out there,” Nehring said. “That is fully funded by the Connecting Washington package … the overcrossing is in already, and you’ll get the on and off ramps in the Connecting Washington package in the next eight years or so.”
The state has also funded a new off-ramp into Marysville, which is about a mile south of the current one. It will keep drivers from getting stuck behind the trains in downtown Marysville. Funding for that is available this year.
Hard shoulder driving on I-5 is set to start at the same time. That will be during the evening commute between Everett and Marysville.
Mayor Nehring says other smaller projects are underway, as well, to make this transition work.
“We’ve also got a local road network that helps provide some connectivity to some of our better thoroughfares,” he said. “That was in the budget the council just passed last year. You’ll see that over the next couple years.”
“We had a PUD substation. We have two regional stormwater retention facilities,” Nehring added. “So these types of business don’t have to use their own land for stormwater retention, they can just hook up into those.”
Marysville still needs approval from the Puget Sound Regional Council to put in the manufacturing center, but Nehring is pretty positive about the potential, and ultimately for more Marysville jobs. He says he’s already getting calls from interested companies looking to put down roots in his community.