Thursday, June 28, 2012

US 2 culvert replacement, Bickford Avenue overpass work to start in July

Crews carefully lower a specialized
 camera to inspect the culvert.
by guest blogger Alora Knapp

A big, two-part construction project is up and coming this summer – part one replaces culverts on US 2 near Snohomish and part two builds a new Bickford Avenue overpass. Live or drive near the area? Here’s the scoop:
Culverts under highways aren’t always noticeable, but they’re important. They collect water runoff and prevent it from settling under the road surface, something that can cause dips or potholes. Our maintenance crews noticed during a recent inspection that the culverts under US 2 near Snohomish were deteriorating. The metal pipes used to construct the old culverts were corroded, which prevented them from successfully doing their job.

This summer, WSDOT crews will replace five culverts underneath both directions US 2 between the Ebey Slough Bridge and Bickford Avenue. The new culverts will be made of thick, heavy, rubberized plastic, which will last longer and make long-term maintenance cheaper.
US 2 Bickford Avenue Intersection improvements
Culvert replacement is a big, invasive task: crews must open up the roadway, remove the old culverts and install the new ones. Since it’s not something we can easily do overnight, crews will close one direction of US 2 on six separate weekends this summer, starting in August. Closures will last from Friday night through Monday morning, and work should wrap up this fall. Detours will be in place during the closures. Drivers can expect to use SR 9 and 20th St. to access US 2 when it is closed in the eastbound and westbound directions. Complete detour maps are available online.

The culvert replacement work under US 2 is the first part of a larger project that includes building a new Bickford Avenue overpass. For regular drivers, construction of a new overpass from Bickford Avenue to westbound US 2 means no more left turns across traffic and a safer intersection overall. The Bickford Avenue intersection is one of the last intersections on US 2 near Everett where drivers have to turn across traffic without the aid of an overpass or signal. Taking traffic over US 2 rather than across it should help reduce the number of collisions and help reduce congestion in the area. Crews will also install upgraded lighting for more visible, stress free driving. This work isn’t as fast as culvert work, and we expect to be done with this part of the project in the fall of 2013.

For more information about the Ebey Slough to Bickford Culvert Replacement and Bickford Avenue Overpass, including links to photos, visit the project websites. Keep up with construction closures by checking the Snohomish County Construction Update page, which is updated weekly.


Anonymous said...

Why wouldn't DOT look at a less invasive way to do the exact same job at half the price? There are Culvert Liners that will meet any standards for "Dig and Replace". Why isn't this option looked at?

WSDOT said...

Our design team spent a lot of time researching culvert liners for this project. While they were a practical option for the inside of many of the culverts, the liners didn’t solve the problems crews found around the outside of the culverts. There are several gaps in the dirt above and around each corroded pipe that are created by water leaking out and washing away the surrounding material. These gaps are severe enough to cause dips in the roadway, and could undermine the stability of the road if they aren’t filled in. We decided the only way to be absolutely sure that the culverts and surrounding dirt can stand up to traffic for years to come was to cut the roadway open, replace the culverts, and place new material around each culvert to fill the gaps.

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