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Snohomish to look at addressing Pilchuck Park road entryway, but it won’t be easy

SNOHOMISH — The only entry road to Pilchuck Park will need to be relocated away from where it sits today on an eroding riverbank. That much is a given, from what city engineer Yosh Monzaki explained to the city parks board last week.
The other item is fixing the riverbank itself.
Both pieces of the puzzle, and how to pony up money for them, will be presented for a discussion with the City Council at an undetermined date.
The council specifically will be asked whether to just move the road and not act on the riverbank, or to move the road and also fix the riverbank.
Either project will be a time-consuming undertaking. There is no clear estimate for the cost.
The access road to Pilchuck Park, 169 Cypress Ave., has a slope alongside it. The city’s engineer says moving the road away from the bank will require moving a water line and sewer main out of the way and adding loads of dirt to raise the slope to be able to build a new road on it. A couple of trees would be removed.
If council says to act on just the road, rerouting the road could possibly happen as soon as 2022, Monzaki said.
This summer, the city had meetings with the state Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW), the Tulalip Tribes, FEMA and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
Gathering the permits would take a year or more, Monzaki said.
A geotechnical engineer surveyed the erosion and suggested reinforcing the bank with rocks and woody debris, including putting layers into the river channel to reclaim some of the bank.
The WDFW liked this riverbank concept, Monzaki said. No permits have been filed.
Multiple government entities are involved because the site is next to the Pilchuck River. 
“Anytime you work in a waterway, it’s a lot of permitting and many agencies involved,” Monzaki said.
Because the site is near the Pioneer Cemetery, the city will also check with the state Department of Archaeology and Historic Preservation, Monzaki said. That may require gathering additional permits.
In other parks news

Averill Field plan altered
Plans for the revamped Averill Field park complex at Third and Pine avenues have been modified to put the bathroom closer to Pine Avenue and to remove part of the proposed loop trail, city project manager Brennan Collins said during a rundown last week. The loop trail was meant to ring the whole park, but at some parts it would have been next to the sidewalk. The change to the trail connects it to the sidewalk instead.

Cady Landing bridge, Pilchuck Park lights paused
An idea to put a footbridge connecting Cady Landing to Pilchuck Julia Landing is on pause after cost estimates came higher than expected, Collins said.
Meanwhile, the city’s plan to install LED lights at Pilchuck Park is paused until the city has a funding source secured, Collins said.
Reshaping Homestead Park, off of Ludwig Road, is also on hold until more is known about the property’s plans, Collins said. The company Otak, Inc. was hired in August 2020 to create a master plan for the 10-acre property. The city bought the site in 2014.

Gazebo plans
The Historic Downtown Snohomish Association again is seeking a $25,000 contest prize as the Coolest Small Town in America. If Snohomish wins, it would use the money toward rehabbing the gazebo at First Street and Avenue A.
The contest website is
Last year, Snohomish came 10th in the same contest, HDSA member Frederick Gibbs said.
Built in the 1980s, the gazebo needs a new roof, new stairs and many floorboards need to be replaced.




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