Snohomish County’s Public Works Department recently was honored by the American Public Works Association (APWA) and the state Governor’s Office for its work to increase road safety and ease commutes.
For the third year in a row, a Public Works’ project has received the Project of the Year award from the APWA. Public Works, along with Community Transit, also was awarded a 2010 Commute Smart Award by Governor Chris Gregoire.
“Public Works is using innovation to increase our residents’ quality of life,” said Snohomish County Executive Aaron Reardon. “We must continue to find new ways of doing business, and your Public Works Department is rising to that challenge.”
This year’s APWA award is for construction of the new Sauk River Bridge #414 in Darrington. Located on the east side of town, the bridge spans the “Wild and Scenic River” and is the gateway to the Mount Baker–Snoqualmie National Forest.
An innovative construction technique was one of the features making this project an award winner: The bridge was constructed on one side of the river and rolled over the river to its foundation on the other side. This saved more than $1 million in costs, shortened construction time by five months and minimized environmental impacts.
The original steel and timber bridge was built in 1930. It was rebuilt in 1981, but at 18 feet wide, it proved a tight squeeze for larger vehicles. The new bridge, constructed for $16 million, is the county's longest two-span steel truss bridge at 480 feet and has been built high enough to withstand a 100-year flood. Its 34-foot width includes two travel lanes and wide walkable/bikeable shoulders.
The county’s 2010 Commute Smart Award is for work with Community Transit to “curb the congestion” along the 164th Street Southwest/Southeast corridor, as well as along the 128th Street and 20th Street arterials.
Curb the Congestion is reducing the number of vehicles on the road by providing individual assistance and incentives to try an alternative to the drive-alone habit. Qualifying transportation options include riding the bus, carpooling, vanpooling, walking and bicycling.
Since its inception in 2008, the program has served 1,500 citizens and removed 14,000 vehicle trips from these roadways. Curb the Congestion is funded by Snohomish County through development mitigation fees and federal grants and is implemented by Community Transit in partnership with the county.