Fire District 1 to consider plan to split World Trade Center beam between Edmonds, Mountlake Terrace

Firefighters stand at attention as the World Trade Center beam is unloaded in Edmonds last year. (Photo by Bryan Briscoe)

By Doug Petrowski

Snohomish County Fire District One Commissioners are expected to approve a plan to cut in half an eight-foot, 2,018-pound steel beam recovered from the ruins of the World Trade Center after the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attack. One half will be maintained by the City of Mountlake Terrace, while the other will go to the City of Edmonds. Both are expected to become centerpieces in Fallen Firefighter memorials.

The beam was delivered from Fire District 1 headquarters in Everett to Edmonds last December, and has been on public display since.

Fire District 1 Commissioners will vote on the plan at their Tuesday, May 1 Board meeting set for 7 p.m. at the district’s headquarters, 12425 Meridian Ave. S. in Everett.

The resolution that the commissioners will be considering is specific that the fire district will retain ownership of the WTC steel beam. It also states that the two cities will erect monuments at sites they can determine, and that their halves of the beam will be accessible for public viewing.

The fire district received the steel beam from the New York and New Jersey Port Authority last December and has been evaluating options for its use. The City of Mountlake Terrace and the City of Edmonds each wrote the fire district letters of interest in the beam, outlining their contingency plans for the beam’s display, maintenance and security.

The City of Edmonds gave specifics in their letter of interest concerning where their half of the beam would be located, a small park on the northeast corner of Fire Station 17 at 275-6th Ave. N. in Edmonds. “This location provides public access at all times, is close to the downtown retail core, and is across the street from Civic Playfield where many community events are hosted,” the letter reads. “The park also contains the Fire Fighters’ Memorial and we feel this is a very appropriate place for the steel to reside.”

The letter from the City of Mountlake Terrace is more vague, listing Firefighters Memorial Park at 228th Street Southwest and 39th Avenue West in Mountlake Terrace as “an appropriate location” for the beam. The park sits behind what remains of Fire Station 18, currently being demolished. The station is making way for an expansion of the park to be completed this year.

The City of Mountlake Terrace also lists its proposed Civic Center at 232nd Street Southwest and 58th Avenue West as a possible site for the steel beam. The Civic Center would be built if a $25 million capital bonds measure is approved by city voters in August.

Fire District 1 reports that the New York and New Jersey Port Authority approved the plan to cut the WTC steel beam into multiple pieces.

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