Wynn officials reported this week that traffic plans for Lower Broadway would transform the area from an industrial highway to a smoother-moving, beautified Boulevard.
“Lower Broadway will have a median strip installed with landscaping throughout and sidewalks and improved lighting,” said Chris Gordon, a key traffic and environmental consultant for Wynn. “It’s going to have more of an actual Boulevard look rather than the highway feel it has now. That Boulevard look will have a much better traffic flow and a lot better aesthetics for the businesses and people driving there. It’s going to be much better than it is today.”
A key component of that plan – especially for traffic – is adopting the City’s plan for a truck route on the northbound and southbound side of Rt. 99/Lower Broadway.
The truck route would take all trucks headed to and from the industrial area and Produce Market off of Lower Broadway by routing them to Dexter and Robin Street where they would then turn right onto Beacham Street or left onto Broadway/Alford Street.
The street on the route, which is in pretty tough shape, would be rehabilitated to handle larger trucks.
“This is an idea that is in the City’s Lower Broadway Master Plan and we looked at it and liked it and decided to implement it into our traffic plan,” said Gordon. “You’re getting Broadway in much better shape. I think it will help trucks that are trying to turn into the industrial areas and going slow and would give them more room to make the right turn more efficiently…By taking this traffic off Broadway, it will leave Broadway far better and move everything along better.”
Another major improvement for the area would be the implementation of left-hand turning lanes at every signalized intersection on Lower Broadway.
Anyone who travels on Lower Broadway has experienced drivers on the northbound or southbound side taking a left turn and blocking traffic in one entire lane.
Gordon said the mitigation plan would solve that nagging problem.
“Lower Broadway gets a lot better with this plan,” he said. “One problem that exists is there are no left turn lanes. If someone wants to turn left, they have to stop traffic and tie up 50 percent of the capacity until they can cut across two lanes of oncoming traffic. We’ll add left-hand turning lanes at each signal. You’ll have a much better chance of turning left and being able to get through. That will make a better flow as the two travel lanes won’t be blocked by someone trying to turn.”
Beyond Lower Broadway, Gordon said Wynn folks are very excited about improving the entire Parkway/Rt. 16 corridor – which is anticipated to be under construction at the same time as the state-financed Rt. 16 bridge project.
“Lower Broadway, Sweetser Circle, Santilli Circle, the bridge and Wellington will all the done at the same time,” said Gordon. “That means the whole corridor will get improved all at once. We can synchronize Sweetser, Santilli and Wellington. It’s one of the advantages of doing it all at once.”
Santilli Circle will get the most attention in Everett.
The $4.1 million worth of improvements would include transforming the circle into more of a traditional rotary – widening the lanes on all approaches.
Wellington Circle will also have some major improvements. Though it is just on the other side of the Everett/Medford line, Gordon said improving that major interchange will do a lot for improving the entire corridor in both directions.
The plan is to add more lanes to the Circle, and re-signalize the interchange, as well as other smaller changes.
Wynn has also agreed to fund a long-term study to identify a final solution for the interchange.
“The big fix in the overall project is way beyond our scope, but we’ll be funding a study that will identify the solution to be implemented long-term,” he said.
Right now, an RFP has gone out
for design services to get the ball rolling on the improvements off site.
“The goal is to get the design going soon,” he said. “We’ve short-listed a few firms to do the design and we hope to pick one in the next couple weeks and get this going.”
Once design is complete, bids would go out for construction.
“By the end of next summer, we’ll have physical work going on,” he said.