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Five weekends to go

Harvey Field
Published:2016-04-18 Roads
Five weekends to go    Print Snohomish Times    
Five weekends to go

The first of six weekends’ worth of work to replace aging expansion joints on northbound Interstate 5 near Marysville is in the books, but prep work for the upcoming weekend will affect drivers during the week as well.

Northbound drivers will encounter three narrowed lanes and a reduced speed limit of 45 mph across the Steamboat Slough and Ebey Slough bridges until the #SnoCoSqueeze expansion-joint-replacement work is done by mid-June.

Weekend travel
This past weekend, contractor crews working for the Washington State Department of Transportation replaced the left halves of expansion joints on the Steamboat Slough Bridge. Over the weekend, northbound I-5 was reduced to two lanes just south of Marysville.

Northbound drivers experienced backups peaking at 6.5 miles on Saturday afternoon and 4.5 miles on Sunday. The longest backup occurred on Saturday when traffic began slowing near 41st Street in Everett.

Drivers did their part to keep traffic moving. WSDOT traffic engineers noted that up to 35 percent of drivers diverted from I-5 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. both days.

Looking ahead
Crews will chip out concrete around the old joints on the Ebey Slough bridge starting this week in a work-zone space created by narrowing the lanes on I-5. This helps set up next weekend’s work to replace expansion joints.

Weekend lane reductions April 22-25
The second of up to six weekends for northbound expansion-joint replacement is scheduled from 9:30 p.m. Friday, April 22, until 5 a.m. Monday, April 25:
• Two narrow lanes will be open Saturday, April 23, and Sunday, April 24, as crews replace the decades-old joints on the left side of the Ebey Slough Bridge.
• Drivers will be shifted to the right side of the bridge.
• The on-ramp from State Route 529 to northbound I-5 will be closed.
• Only one lane will be open overnight Friday, April 22, and again overnight Sunday, April 24.

Plan now for a longer drive
As weekend work continues with just two narrow lanes open, drivers should anticipate significant backups on northbound I-5 around the area.

“We need drivers to be creative and find new and different ways to travel north through Snohomish County,” said WSDOT Traffic Engineer Mike Swires. “The backups will not just be confined to I-5, but SR 9 and SR 529 will see longer drive times as well.”




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