A possible way to make Intermodal truck traffic in one Washington city flow more smoothly has city officials and residents at odds over the future of a small park.
A mess of truck traffic, along with hyper-priced housing in central cities and a hot regional job market are invading Maggie’s Park, located in the heart of Everett, Wash. According to the Seattle Post-Intelligencer
, the small .03-acre park is situated near the sprawling Kimberly-Clark Corp. paper mill. The city and the Port of Everett want to build a four-lane overpass that would vault the truck traffic over the busy Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad tracks that line the shore. However, the new route would blow right through Maggie's Park, the only waterfront green space for nearly a mile in either direction.
Local residents say they want more access to the water, more park space in general and more attention paid to "livability."
City and port officials say port-bound trucks waste too much time waiting for trains, and the $10 million overpass would greatly ease the flow of goods to and from the waterfront.
According to Gig Larson of Local 32 of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union, the truck ramp is an important part of a campaign to revive the city's lagging maritime industry. A new container contract will bring two ships a month into the downtown waterfront this summer, putting at least 50 longshore workers and about as many truck drivers to work.
A new truck ramp over the busy tracks isn't essential to keeping that business, but the project would allow the city to close three busy rail crossings, cut truck delays and help pave the way for future traffic growth, he said.
The public has until Wednesday to file formal responses to the city's environmental impact review.