Everett’s Howarth Park Bridge Closed Until August

May 10, 2016

Everett, Everett Government

Bad news from the City of Everett regarding the closure of Howarth Park Beach. Here’s the update from Meghan Pembroke…

Howarth beach bridge

The bridge is the only safe and legal way across the tracks to Howarth Park Beach.

Howarth 3

The staircase leading to the beach.

Everett Parks and Recreation staff announced today that the Howarth Park pedestrian bridge and beach access will be closed through July.

“We had hoped to reopen the bridge by Memorial Day weekend, but unfortunately, we’ve encountered permitting issues that have delayed the repair work,” said Lori Cummings, Parks director. “We know how much people have been looking forward to visiting the beach again, and we will work as quickly and safely as we can to complete the project.”

The bridge and beach access have been closed since May 2015, when a routine inspection uncovered rust and corrosion on the bridge’s steel beams. The City immediately closed the bridge and began work to design repairs; the repair project was awarded to Forma Construction in February.

Because the repair work will be done above an active railroad, the contractor’s plans must include provisions to protect workers above the tracks and to prevent debris from falling onto the tracks or trains. BNSF did not approve the original track protection plan in April, and Forma Construction last week submitted a revised plan for approval that will provide adequate protection without adding substantial costs or time to the schedule.

“Working in and around a bridge structure – particularly above tracks – is very involved and requires significant permitting and approvals,” said Cummings. “Ultimately, while we want to reopen the bridge as soon as possible, we share BNSF’s commitment to keeping crews, citizens and trains safe, and we are working with the railroad to develop an appropriate track protection plan.”

BNSF and City staff reminds residents and visitors that it is illegal and dangerous to cross railroad tracks outside of designated crossings.

Nearshore Restoration Project will begin in June

The bridge and beach access were scheduled to close again in mid-September for Snohomish County’s Nearshore Restoration Project. With the delay in the bridge repair project, the County’s work will now begin in June and run concurrently with the bridge repair project. The County’s work at Howarth Park is expected to take four to six weeks to complete.

“The silver lining to this delay is that both projects will now begin at about the same time, and we won’t have to close the bridge again later this year,” said Cummings.

The County’s beach restoration project includes removing the bulkhead on the beach, restoring and re-grading the beach, and planting native vegetation. For more information, visitwww.snocomrc.org/Projects/Restoration/Nearshore-Sediment-Study.aspx.

While Howarth Park beach remains closed, community members can enjoy the beach at other nearby locations: •Edgewater Beach (1500 1st Street, Mukilteo)
Mukilteo Lighthouse Park (609 Front Street, Mukilteo)• Jetty Island (ferry service from boat launch at 10th and W. Marine View Dr. begins July 5)

The closure includes the beach off-leash area. Alternate off-leash areas nearby include:
• Loganberry Lane Park (9201 18th Avenue West)• Japanese Gulch (1301 West Mukilteo Blvd)
• Lowell Park (4605 South 3rd Avenue)

For more information on the bridge repair project, visit www.everettwa.gov/howarthbridge.

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