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SR 532 speed limit will lower

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Published:2015-06-18 Roads
SR 532 speed limit will lower     Print Snohomish Times    
SR 532 speed limit will lower

STANWOOD – Before drivers start using the new raised section of State Route 532 between Stanwood and Camano Island, they’ll see a lowered speed limit. Starting Saturday, June 20, the speed limit will be reduced to 35 mph on SR 532.

Contractor crews working for the Washington State Department of Transportation are almost finished building the new southern half of the highway. On Saturday, traffic will shift onto that new section.

Lower speed limit
The reduced speed limit will go into effect sometime after 2 a.m. Saturday. The lower speed is necessary because crews will connect the pavement between the old and new highways starting at 2 a.m. Saturday, creating a small hump. Also, once the traffic is shifted drivers will have to veer slightly to transition between the old highway and the new section. The lower speed will make the transition safer.

The 35 mph speed limit between Stanwood and Camano Island will be enforced for the remainder of construction.

Shifting traffic
Traffic will transition from the current roadway onto the new section of highway and bridge near Eide Road in the east and at the bottom of the hill below Smith Road in the west next week. This work is weather-dependent; dates will be announced next week. Drivers should be prepared for single-lane traffic controlled by flaggers.

The new section of SR 532 will have an 11-foot lane with a two-foot shoulder in each direction while crews complete the second phase of the project.

Bridge building continues
Once drivers start using the new section of highway, contractor crews will begin building the northern half of the new SR 532 bridge and roadway to match the southern half. When all work is complete, the speed limit will be restored to 45 mph.

“This project improves access and safety between Stanwood and Camano Island,” said Project Engineer Shane Spahr. “SR 532 is the only way on or off the island. Raising the highway and the bridge will make both less susceptible to damage from tidal flooding. Widening the roadway will help keep traffic moving in case of breakdowns or collisions.”

When the $19 million project is finished, SR 532 will have:
• One lane in each direction;
• A four-foot center median separating traffic;
• Wide shoulders for bicyclists, pedestrians and disabled vehicles.

Before work began, the highway had narrow shoulders and little room for pedestrians or bicyclists. A collision near the old Davis Slough Bridge could stop all traffic in both directions, limiting emergency vehicle access.

The project will be completed in spring 2016.

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