SR 531 - 43rd Ave NE to 67th Ave NE - Widening

Project news

  • WSDOT has selected roundabouts as the preferred alternative for improvements at the following SR 531 intersections: 43rd, 51st, 59th, and 67th Avenues Northeast.
  • WSDOT is continuing work on preliminary design plans and environmental reviews.

Needs & benefits

State Route 531/172nd Street Northeast runs through the city of Arlington and into Snohomish County near the Arlington Municipal Airport. Development of residential areas east of this busy freight corridor continues to increase annual traffic volumes. In 2019, 26,000 vehicles used this stretch of highway daily, compared with 18,000 vehicles in 1999. An average of three serious crashes happen in this area each year.

This two-year corridor improvement project was scheduled to start construction in 2023. However, the COVID-19 pandemic affected the project schedule. The full effect of delays caused by the pandemic is not known at this time. When construction begins, WSDOT will improve and widen the two-mile stretch of highway between 43rd Avenue Northeast and 67th Avenue Northeast by building roundabouts to manage congestion and improve safety. The roundabouts will provide safer access to the highway from businesses and improved access for people who walk, ride bicycles, use the bus or need Americans with Disability Act accommodations.

Roundabouts
Studies have shown that roundabouts are safer than traditional stop sign or signalized intersections and reduce injury crashes. They move traffic more quickly and are less expensive to maintain. Learn more about the benefits of roundabouts.

Project challenges
Challenges associated with this project include but are not limited to:

  • Purchasing nearly two dozen needed pieces of right-of-way property before construction.
  • Relocating numerous utility lines and pipes that run along SR 531.
  • Working with the Federal Aviation Administration to create a design that accommodates aviation needs.
  • Collaborating with BNSF Railroad on the roundabout near its tracks at 67th Avenue Northeast.
  • Making required environmental (storm water, culvert and catch basin) improvements and completing appropriate wetland mitigation.
  • Improving an existing culvert that is currently a barrier to fish passage.
  • Keeping costs within the non-flexible Connecting Washington funding allocation.
  • Keeping businesses accessible and traffic and aviation moving through this corridor during construction.

Timeline

July 2019: Began design engineering.
Fall 2021: Complete environmental review documentation.
Fall/winter 2022-2023: Finalize design and traffic control plans and award project to a contractor. 
Construction start date: Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, the project was scheduled to begin construction in 2023. However, the pandemic has caused a delay. The full effect of this delay is not fully known at this time.

Funding

Financial Data for PIN 153160K
Funding Source Amount ($ in thousands)
2003 Gas Tax (Nickel Funding) $0
2005 Gas Tax (TPA) $0
Pre-Existing Funds (PEF) $15
CWA $39,300
Total $39,315

Contact

Meggan Carrigg Davidson
Communications
360-757-5966
Meggan.CarriggDavidson@wsdot.wa.gov

Shane Spahr
Project Engineer
360-848-7103
Shane.Spahr@wsdot.wa.gov

A small map of a SR 531 project area between 43rd Ave. NE and 67th Ave. NE.

A small map of a SR 531 project area between 43rd Avenue Northeast and 67th Avenue Northeast.

A small photo of SR 531 looking west. Photo includes a dirt pedestrian trail and a sign showing 43rd Ave. NE is ahead.

A small photo of SR 531 and a dirt pedestrian path looking west toward 43rd Avenue Northeast.