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City: Thornton Overpass project funding is complete – can begin work soon

Graphic presented to Ferndale City Council by Reichhardt & Ebe Engineering (July 16, 2018). Source: City of Ferndale

Brian Enslow, the City’s legislative lobbyist, brought a big gift with him when he spoke with the Ferndale City Council last week. He had just learned the Thornton Street Overpass Project had been selected to receive $2.5 million in 2020 by the Washington State Transportation Improvement Board. This, according to City staff, makes the project fully funded.

A revised project design was presented by Reichhardt & Ebe Engineering to the Ferndale City Council in July with a cost estimate of $21, including a 20% contingency allowance. This estimate was lower than the options presented in 2016 that ranged between $27 million and $31 million. The engineering firm that provided the 2016 options has since ceased operations and were replaced with Reichhardt & Ebe Engineering.

In the 2016 Washington State supplemental transportation budget, a $19 million commitment for the Thornton Street Overpass project was made.

The overpass would provide a second route between I-5 and west Ferndale neighborhoods that does not involve a railroad crossing. The existing route being Main Street. It is hoped the Thornton Street overpass will relieve some of the traffic volume currently on Main Street.

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City staff say to expect a 2 to 3 year construction phase. The initial signs of construction will be large mounds of dirt brought in to stabilize and compress the ground in some areas within the project zone; a process referred to as preloading. The preloading process could take 18 months. These estimates put the project completion date somewhere around 2022 or 2023.

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