Will Van Ry retiring after 40 years with City Engineering Department

Will Van Ry

Mountlake Terrace has seen many infrastructure changes over the past 40 years; streets, utility lines and sidewalks have been designed, built and then redesigned and rebuilt throughout the city. Growth and change has kept the City of Mountlake Terrace Engineering Department busy; now change will be coming to that city department itself.

Engineering Services Director Will Van Ry is retiring after starting his career with the city nearly 40 years ago.

The City of Mountlake Terrace hired Van Ry as an Engineering Aide in September 1974. In 1975, he was promoted to Engineering Technician. Van Ry served as a Planner/Designer from 1978 to 1986, when he was promoted to Associate Engineer. Van Ry earned his Professional Engineer (PE) Certification in 1991. In May of 1995, he was promoted to City Engineer. In 2003, Van Ry was promoted to Engineering Services Director.

Van Ry’s position was originally made possible in 1974 with federal Comprehensive Employment and Training Act (CETA) funding, a program enacted by Congress to train workers and provide them with jobs in public service.

“With all the infrastructure work done over the past 40 years, I’d say Mountlake Terrace residents really got their money’s worth for this outstanding public servant,” said Mayor Jerry Smith.

In 2009, Van Ry received the City’s Vision Award in recognition of his vision, leadership, and outstanding public service to improve community livability and quality of life in Mountlake Terrace.

During Van Ry’s time with the city, he was involved in and oversaw numerous projects including the water reservoir and seismic retrofit, Cedargrove Sewer Pump Station reconstruction, 220th Street reconstruction, Gateway Intersection design and coordination, Traffic Signal Modification Project, and Traffic Calming Program. He was also responsible for design of the Interurban Trail improvement project, implementation of the Transportation Master Plan, Capital Improvement Plan, and Transportation Improvement Plan.

In just the past few years, Van Ry worked on many grant evaluations and applications that resulted in millions of dollars in grant awards for the city. Some of these key awards include $1 million in ARRA funds for the 52nd Avenue Reconstruction project, $1 million for the Lakeview Trail project, $750,000 for sidewalks near Mountlake Terrace High School and Elementary School, two $500,000 appropriations for the Town Center water main supply project, and almost $1 million in ARRA funds for the 230th Street Reconstruction project.

“We would like to thank Will for holding off on retirement to get several major projects underway and grants secured for projects like Main Street and the Lakeview Trail,” commented Community Relations Director Virginia Olsen. “He worked very hard, always maintained a high level of excellence and professionalism, and he really cared about this community.”

— By Doug Petrowski

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