City Of Mill Creek | www.CityOfMillCreek.com 15 he much-needed recon- struction of 35th Avenue SE through Mill Creek is under- way. The full road closure began on July 2. Work over the last several weeks has proceeded as planned and includes demolition of the roadway and sidewalk. This month, pile-driving begins. Pin piles are six-inch-diameter pipes that are, on average, 60 feet long. There are approximately 500 pin piles that must be pounded into load-bearing soil to support the new roadway. This work is expected to last through September. “This is a noisy operation,” said Gina Hortillosa, Mill Creek’s Director of Pub- lic Works and Development Services. “Since this is a wetland area, we can expect the noise to carry throughout most of the City.” The bridge over Penny Creek and the roadway should largely be completed by the end of November. The installation of concrete sidewalks and curbing, as well as the laying of asphalt and pavement marking, is slated for December. Howev- er, this work is weather dependent and may extend into early 2019. Community members are encour- aged to sign up for email notifications at cityofmillcreek.com/35th. A dedicat- ed project hotline, 425-582-6070, will include recorded updates. Generous Support for Construction The 35th Avenue SE reconstruction project would not have transpired without the large amount of external funding that was received from the State and Snohomish County. The total project cost is estimated at approxi- mately $5,303,300. “There certainly was an urgent need for external funding,” said Hortillosa. All Washington cities and counties levy a real estate excise tax on real estate purchases, which is used solely for capital projects, such as road- way construction or reconstruction, recreational facilities and stormwater systems, among others. The combined local and state rate for Mill creek is 1.78 percent. As of January 2018, the City’s REET fund balance was $4.234 million and the Road Improvement fund had a balance of $1.380 million. Using only City funding for the 35th Avenue SE reconstruction project nearly would have wiped out the balances in both accounts, which would have serious implications as Mill Creek reaches an age where its infrastructure is beginning to need repair and replacement. Senator Steve Hobbs was instru- mental in securing a significant amount of state funds for the project. “I spoke with citizens of Mill Creek and City leaders, who made it clear that the 35th Avenue Reconstruction Project was their priority,” said Hobbs. “As a result, I made securing that transportation funding one of my top priorities in Olympia and I’m happy to say we came away with a big win for Mill Creek.” Under Hobbs’ leadership as the lead Democratic transportation budget writer in 2015, $4 million was provided from the Connecting Washington fund and $1.25 million from the Motor Vehicle Account. State Represen- tative Mark Harmsworth also voted for the bill. The 2015 Connecting Washington funding package is a $16 billion investment to enhance the statewide transportation system and maintain critical infrastructure. As chair of the Senate Transporta- tion Committee, Hobbs secured an additional $500,000 in the 2018 sup- plemental budget, bringing the total state funds to $5.25 million for the Mill Creek project. Supplemental funds are appropriations usually provided in the second year of the legislative bienni- um where the need for the funds is too urgent to be postponed. Mill Creek State Representatives John Lovick and Harmsworth supported the bill. Snohomish County also provided a $50,000 small capital projects partnership grant. “We believe in partnerships with our cities,” said County Councilman Terry Ryan. “We are glad to be a contribut- ing partner to the reconstruction of 35th Avenue, which is a main north- south corridor in this area. This is a much-needed infrastructure project for both the City and Snohomish County.” Ryan, who is chair of the County’s Public Works committee, previously served on the Mill Creek City Council for 17 years. “We are delighted to have this work underway,” said Hortillosa. “And we are tremendously grateful for the broad support by the State and the County.” Infrastructure 35th Avenue Construction UNDERWAY T