The Tulalip Tribes, in cooperation with WSDOT, the FHWA, Snohomish County and the City of Marysville, is currently rebuilding the 116th Street NE interchange on I-5, one of the two primary access points for the reservation’s outlet mall and casino complex. The current interchange, built in 1971 and handling traffic far beyond its capacity, also includes a pair of Community Transit bus stops adjacent to a small park-and-ride lot. Though the 57-space lot and interchange only see 4 trips per day from Stanwood to Seattle (Route 422) and Paine Field (Route 247), The Everett Herald reported in June that its spots are regularly full by 8 a.m.
The completed interchange will be the third single-point urban interchange (abbreviated as SPUI), in the Puget Sound region, with the other two at I-705/SR509 in Tacoma and at I-5/41st Street in Everett. SPUIs require a single signalized intersection with three light cycles, but due to the lack of thru lanes they do not facilitate quick reentry to the interstate and are thus incompatible with transit flyer stops.
In an email, a representative from Community Transit explained that the park and ride would instead be used by carpool and vanpool users after the stops are permanently closed. An email to the project team at the Tulalip Tribes was not returned.
With no real alternative mentioned by either agency, the 57 cars in the lot using both routes will have to spread out to other nearby lots that already have overcrowding issues. Those who bike and walk from the flyer stops will instead have to take routes 201 and 202 on the slow route through Marysville from the nearest park and ride.
The park and ride was partially closed in 2008 for the first phase of the project, which temporarily removed access to the lot from 116th Street NE, forcing users on a long and looping detour via Quil Ceda Boulevard and 34th Avenue NE. The current phase of the project, rebuilding the overpass, will close up to 20 parking spaces next summer and is expected to be finished by October 2016.