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Gearing up for northbound I-5 expansion joint work

Published:2016-04-08 Roads
Gearing up for northbound I-5 expansion joint work     Print Snohomish Times    
Gearing up for northbound I-5 expansion joint work

MARYSVILLE – After a two-week break, #SnoCoSqueeze expansion joint replacement work in Marysville starts up again next week on northbound Interstate 5. Drivers should prepare for narrowed lanes and lower speed limits, plus six weekends of lane reductions, until the project is complete in mid-June.

During the week of April 11, contractor crews working for the Washington State Department of Transportation will restripe northbound I-5 to three narrow lanes and then shift them to one side of the Steamboat Slough and Ebey Slough bridges. The speed limit will be reduced to 45 miles per hour while the narrower lanes are in place.

Lane striping and shifting traffic are important parts of keeping the project on schedule, but require dry weather. Crews will monitor the forecast and stripe when conditions are dry.

Weekend lane reductions begin April 15
The first of up to six weekends for northbound expansion joint replacement is scheduled for 9:30 p.m. Friday, April 15, to 5 a.m. Monday, April 18:

Northbound drivers will have two narrow lanes through the two-mile stretch between the Steamboat Slough and Ebey Slough bridges Saturday, April 16, and Sunday, April 17, as crews replace aging expansion joints on the Steamboat Slough Bridge.

Only one lane will be open overnight Friday, April 15, and again on Sunday night, April 17.

Plan now for a longer drive
As the weekend work is underway and just two narrow lanes are open, significant backups are expected.
“Even if 30 percent of drivers find other ways to get through Everett and Marysville during the weekend work, the backups will be similar to a weekday commute,” said WSDOT Traffic Engineer Mike Swires. “Surface streets in Everett and Marysville will also see increased congestion.”
The slower speeds and narrow lane widths will likely cause delays during the weekday and weekend commutes, so it is important drivers stay engaged and informed.
Tools to plan your weekend commute strategies
• A new Snohomish County area traffic map is available online with real time traffic cameras and travel times.
• Weekend travel updates will be available on the WSDOT Blog.
• WSDOT’s mobile app offers information for travelers on the go.
• @wsdot_traffic will provide updates about this project using the hashtag #SnoCoSqueeze.
• The What’s Happening Now page chronicles closures and issues affecting travelers.
• Consider carpooling and other commute and travel choices.
Why weekend closures are necessary
This is the third of up to eight weekends worth of work to replace the expansion joints in both directions of I-5 on the Steamboat Slough and Ebey Slough bridges.

Due to the size of the joints, they need to be replaced during weekends to allow enough time to chip out the old concrete, remove the existing joints, install the new ones, pour new concrete and let it cure.

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