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.
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.