EVERETT, Wash. – The Grand Avenue Park Bridge passed its final safety inspection today and is now open to the public. While some minor work will still need to be performed over the coming weeks, the bridge is now ready for use to access the waterfront from Grand Avenue Park. Community members are welcome to visit using appropriate social distancing and face coverings.
It took many project partners working together to make the Grand Avenue Park Bridge possible. The bridge now connects the community, long separated by geography, with one of Everett’s great amenities. The pedestrian bridge walkway joins a historic Everett neighborhood with the evolving Everett waterfront.
“The bridge’s opening is something the City of Everett and the community have been looking forward to for a long time,” said Heather Griffin, project manager for the bridge. “Under normal circumstances, we would have celebrated this amazing achievement and the completion of the tremendous work it took to get it done. But, because of COVID-19 considerations, the City is postponing an official grand opening until it is safe to gather. For now, we hope the community will take time to visit the bridge for themselves and experience what it’s like to connect to the waterfront.”
Work in the fenced construction area noticeably decreased in recent weeks, involving mainly handrails, lighting, electrical, landscaping and the elevator. The contractor began demobilizing and had only two critical tasks remaining as of this week: the elevator and lighting systems.
The elevator had to pass safety inspections in order to provide required ADA access to the bridge. The Department of Labor and Industries (L&I), the governing authority that inspects and issues operating permits for elevators, performed its inspection Wednesday.
Though the pedestrian illumination is not complete, it is operational and sufficient for public use. The project team tested the lighting on Tuesday, Aug. 18, to observe glare and the adequacy of illumination. Additional lighting sets are on order, and final programming remains to be done. This work, once complete, will allow for the lighting to be dimmed, optimized by zone and placed on a program that allows for photocell and other controls. When complete, the lighting will be dimmed, more uniform and will be off during daylight hours. For the time being, the bridge lights will be illuminated continuously.
The Grand Avenue Park Bridge is a utility bridge that replaced hillside pipelines, some of which have been used to convey wet weather flows to the bay. Pre-construction on the Grand Avenue Park Bridge began in August 2017; the bridge was raised and moved into place on September 25, 2019, and the utility pipes were connected to the City’s wastewater and storm systems in February 2020. More information about the project can be found at everettwa.gov/GAPB.