Editor’s Update 8:00PM: At tonight’s Everett City Council meeting Parks Director Paul Kaftanski told the council that crews spent today putting up signage and tomorrow both ends of the bridge would be boarded up and the lower parking lots locked. He also told the council that Everett Park Rangers would be having emphasis patrols at the park and if rangers came across people trying to cross the railroad tracks to the beach they would counsel the people that it was railroad property but would not try to physically stop them. He cited the fact that the tracks were BNSF jurisdiction and they would have to deal with people crossing the tracks.Bad news for a potentially hot summer as the City of Everett today announced the closure of the bridge over the railroad tracks to the beach at Howarth Park. The city is also closing the lower parking lot. Access to the beach is not expected to re-open until sometime next year. Here are a few MyEverettNews.com photos. Click to enlarge. Here’s the official word from Everett Parks…
Everett Parks and Recreation crews will close the pedestrian bridge to Howarth Park beach on Thursday, May 14, until further notice, due to concerns about the bridge’s structural integrity. An engineering firm contracted to review the bridge recommended this week that the bridge be closed until repairs can be made.
“We know that this is a favorite park for Everett residents and visitors, especially in the summer months, and we did not make this decision lightly,” said Paul Kaftanski, parks director. “Safety is our primary concern, and based on the recommendation of the bridge experts, we must close the bridge immediately in order to keep park visitors safe.”
The engineering firm’s review of the pedestrian bridge uncovered rust and corrosion on the bridge’s steel beams. Parks staff will work with an engineering consultant to design the bridge repairs and will advertise the project for competitive bidding as soon as possible. The project design and repair work is expected to take five to six months to complete; the bridge and lower Howarth Park parking lot will remain closed during that period.
Howarth Park beach was already scheduled to be closed for several months beginning in September for Snohomish County’s Nearshore Beach Restoration Project, which means the Howarth beach access will be unavailable until spring 2016.
For updates on the closure and repair work, visit www.everettwa.gov/howarthbridge.
For those wanting to go to the beach, public access to Edgewater Park was recently re-established by the Port of Everett. Take Mukilteo Boulevard west just across the bridge into Mukilteo, turn right on Mukilteo lane, cross the tracks at Baker crossing and go north.