Thursday, June 21, 2018

The challenge to drivers before the SR 99 tunnel opens

By Laura Newborn

The new SR 99 tunnel beneath downtown Seattle could open as soon as this fall, providing a direct route from CenturyLink and Safeco fields to the Space Needle. There's a lot of work that has to happen before we can give you an exact date for the tunnel opening, but one thing we can tell you is travelers will face big challenges immediately before the tunnel opens. We must close the viaduct before we can open the tunnel – there's no other way to connect SR 99 to the new tunnel. That means there will be three weeks of no SR 99 traffic through Seattle – no viaduct and no tunnel.

Why do you have to close the viaduct before the tunnel opens?
The current alignment of SR 99 near the stadiums is temporary. Today's configuration allows traffic to weave through an active construction zone. After the tunnel is complete, tested and all systems are 'go', we will have to realign SR 99 and connect the tunnel ramps.

This means we must close SR 99 from the West Seattle Bridge to the south end of the Battery Street Tunnel for approximately three weeks (if the weather cooperates). The pictures below explain why. The orange areas on the right show the areas where crews will have to work to build new ramps and road connections to open the tunnel to traffic. As you can see, these work areas sit right atop the present-day highway.
Left: Current SR 99 near the stadiums (looking south). Right: Work areas needed to open the tunnel

Left: Current tunnel portal near Seattle Center. Right: Work areas needed to open tunnel

Three weeks of a full SR 99 closure, plus additional time for ramp closures
The intensive amount of work required at the tunnel's south end near the stadiums means that key ramps will close sooner and open later than the rest of the highway. For drivers heading south, the current southbound exit to South Atlantic Street (for reaching the stadiums and interstates) will close approximately one week before the full SR 99 closure to create room for the realignment work. For your future planning, this exit will disappear entirely when the tunnel opens, replaced by a stadium/I-5/I-90 exit from the tunnel.

For drivers heading north toward downtown, the new SR 99 northbound exit ramp to Alaskan Way and downtown Seattle will open two weeks after the tunnel opens, as this ramp will take longer to complete.

If you're driving from the north during the closure, SR 99 will narrow to one lane in each direction near Mercer Street so crews can build a new section of highway connecting SR 99 to the tunnel (see picture above). The Battery Street Tunnel will remain open during the three-week closure, but drivers will have to exit and enter at the Western Avenue off and on ramps.

It's a little hard to follow. Our program website has additional graphics showing the closure step by step.

I don't use SR 99, why should I care?
We know from experience that closing SR 99 through Seattle has a region-wide impact. During past planned closures, commutes on I-5, I-405 and I-90 started earlier and lasted longer. Seattle city streets were also more crowded. Many drivers pitched in and changed their commute times, but there's no question that three weeks is a long time to ask drivers to sustain change. Add some rain to the equation and traffic could become even more challenging. We are working with our partner agencies to identify multiple ways to help keep people moving during the three-week shutdown of SR 99, but there's no doubt this will be a challenging time for everyone. We will share more information as we get closer to a starting point for the closure.

What can I do now?
We don't yet have a date for this three-week closure, but it could come as soon as this fall. We will be able to give about a month's warning. Still, thinking about potential alternatives now can help you later.
Using your tools and having a game plan will be vital during the closure. We will have much more information about alternative ways to keep people and goods moving as the closure approaches.

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

WSDOT #TBT highlights busy traffic weekend in Puget Sound area

By Ally Barrera

You may notice that this week’s Busy Weekend Map looks a little more. …simple. …than usual. There’s a reason for that!

In honor of the popular “Throwback Thursday” trend on social media, this week’s map is paying homage to the one that started it all.
This week's Busy Weekend Paint Map highlights events and roadwork with a significant effect on traffic, including the closure of westbound US 2 at the Hewitt Avenue trestle and Seattle Pride.

Our first Busy Weekend Map made its debut just before Pride Weekend 2016. Despite its simplicity and – ahem – “unsophisticated” drawings, the map got a lot of attention. Two years and about a dozen maps later, it’s still one of our most popular Tweets.

More importantly, it spawned the Busy Weekend Maps you’re used to seeing today, which have become one of the most popular ways we alert the public about events and roadwork that could affect their weekend travels on state highways.
Our very first Busy Weekend Map for June 24-26, 2016.
Even two years later, it's still one of our most shared tweets.
Here’s some of what you need to know if you plan on hitting the road this weekend:
  • Large events will affect traffic: Expect lots of congestion in and around Seattle as people head to some big special events, including PrideFest and the Sounders vs. Chicago match.
  • US 2: The westbound US 2 Hewitt Avenue trestle will be fully closed from 7 p.m. Friday to 4 a.m. Monday for paving work. Detours are set for those going from east Snohomish County to Everett.
  • I-90: 24/7 lane reductions and traffic shifts on westbound I-90 will cause big travel delays for people heading either direction over Snoqualmie Pass. Pack extra water and snacks!
  • SR 99: All lanes of southbound State Route 99 through downtown Seattle will be closed from 9 p.m. Friday to 6 a.m. Sunday for work related to the SR 99 Tunnel project. Know your alternate routes before you leave home.
These Busy Weekend Maps are not meant to be a social event calendar. They are meant to show what events and construction work will significantly affect people who use state highways. The maps are just one of many tools we offer to help people know traffic conditions before they hit the road. We urge people to also check our Special Events Calendar page and Weekly Travel Planner for a more comprehensive list of events and roadwork happening near them.

Also be sure to stay up-to-date by:

New drone video highlights challenges of maintenance work on the I-5 Ship Canal Bridge

By Nicole Daniels

Just like performing routine maintenance on your vehicle, adding air to your bike tires or cleaning your walking shoes, maintaining our bridges is an ongoing task. But as with anything in life, things get old and need to be repaired and replaced. And that's the case with Seattle's I-5 Ship Canal Bridge.
Built in 1962, the Ship Canal Bridge is a double-deck structure that about 265,000 vehicles use daily to cross Portage Bay, between the Eastlake and University District neighborhoods. The many years of fluctuating weather, the growing number of vehicles using the roadway and heavy loads from freight have caused extensive wear and tear on the bridge deck.
Performing repairs on the I-5 Ship Canal Bridge requires chipping out damaged pavement and
patching the hole up, until funding for a more extensive repair is available.

The future of the Ship Canal Bridge
The Ship Canal Bridge is one of more than 300 bridges identified statewide as needing a complete deck overhaul within the next 10 years. Although we inspect it regularly, and make spot repairs as needed, a full-blown rehabilitation hasn't happened on this structure since 1985.

The $55 million needed to completely overlay the entire Ship Canal Bridge deck isn't available for at least another 6-to-8 years, around 2026. So until we can fully repave the structure, it's critical that we continue to keep the bridge in a state of good repair.
Maintenance crews remove damaged concrete from the I-5 Ship Canal Bridge before putting in new
pavement on top of the rebar.

Challenges
Repairing the bridge deck is not a simple, quick task that can be done at any time. Extensive concrete repair needs dry and warm weather, which typically limits us to the spring and summer. We also have to avoid peak travel times and comply with local noise restrictions, while also taking into account needs of other projects and the many major events that happen in Seattle this time of year.

There is never a good time to close lanes on I-5. However, we've been working closely with the City of Seattle and large event venues and organizers to pinpoint the weekends with the fewest conflicts in an incredibly vibrant city. It doesn't mean we can completely avoid disruptions, but we're trying to at least limit them.

What to expect and when
Throughout the summer, we'll be patching potholes and repairing expansion joints. The majority of this weather-dependent work will require closing two lanes and some ramps on I-5 between SR 520 and Northeast 45th Street on Saturday and Sunday mornings, with one closure extending throughout the weekend.
  • June 23-24: Northbound reduced to two lanes from 2 to 10 a.m.
  • July 7-8: Southbound reduced to two lanes from 2 to 10 a.m.
  • *July 15: Southbound reduced to two lanes from 2 a.m. to noon.
  • July 28-29: Northbound reduced to two lanes from 2 to 10 a.m.
  • *August 11-12: Northbound reduced to two lanes from Friday night to Sunday evening.
* These weekends we will be working alongside our Revive I-5 contractor crews in order to reduce the amount of weekend closures and minimize delays for travelers.

You can keep up to date on specifics of the closures by checking our website.

What you can do to help
  • Use alternate routes. Consider using SR 99, I-405, SR 520 or I-90 to avoid delays through the city. Even though the lanes reopen early, we still expect to see up to 9-mile backups.
  • Be a helper. The more people who carpool, use transit or delay discretionary trips, the more manageable the backups and delays will be. We recognize it's not possible for everyone to do this, but those who can help make a difference.
  • Know before you go. Be prepared and check traffic before you get behind the wheel:
Due to limited funding for bridge preservation projects, we need to make the most with what we have right now. This repair work will help buy us more time until funding becomes available to redo the entire bridge deck. And with your help and cooperation, we can do this without causing significant backups.

Thank you, as always, for your patience as we complete this much-needed repair work on I-5.

Friday, June 15, 2018

Long time, no talk: How we’ve been ramping up for back-to-back US 2 Closures

UPDATE Friday, June 22: The weekend closure of the westbound US 2 trestle has been POSTPONED due to rainy weather forecast Friday and Sunday nights

By Frances Fedoriska

Between rain delays, holiday weekends and big events, it has been a while since we’ve had to prepare for a scheduled closure of westbound US 2 between the Lake Stevens/Snohomish area and Everett. That’s why, with back-to-back weekend closures scheduled from 7 p.m. Friday, June 22 to 4 a.m. Monday, June 25, and 7 p.m. Friday, June 29 to 4 a.m. Monday, July 2, now is as good a time as any to quickly show you what we’ve been up to.

Absolutely no rain allowed
While some of our projects can get work done in the rain, this is not one of them. The two rain delays we’ve had so far are because the waterproof material we are using to protect the trestle from our wet weather has to be applied when there is NO rain or moisture AT ALL. Applying the material when there’s a hint of moisture voids the warranty for the waterproof coating, and nobody wants that. So we will continue to wait for those dry Snohomish County summer weekends.

Working for the weekend
Between the postponed closures, weeknight westbound drivers on US 2 have likely seen the men and women of Lakeside Industries hard at work overnight, preparing the trestle’s dozens of expansion joints for our weekend closures.

Contractor crews make cuts to either side of an expansion joint, then fill it in with grout. This has to be done before we can do any paving work during a weekend closure

Little room for error
The trestle expansion joints are less than 50 yards apart, so we have to be precise in all the repair work. Our margin for error between the top of the road and the top of the expansion joint is just 1/8 inch. The difference between a smoother ride and an uneven, bumpy one is razor thin.

Back-to-back closures
During the June 22-25 and June 29-July 2 closures, no one will be able to use the westbound US 2 Hewitt Avenue trestle between the SR 204 interchange to the on-ramp from Homeacres Road. During both closures, all lanes are scheduled to reopen by 4 a.m. Monday. Since our first two weekends were rained out, here’s a quick recap of what we will do during these closures:
  • Remove old, damaged pavement
  • Inspect the trestle
  • Make any needed repairs
  • Put down a new waterproof coating to protect the trestle from our harsh PNW weather
  • Put down a new layer of asphalt on the far east end of the Hewitt Avenue trestle.
By now you know this, but it bears repeating: This work is weather dependent.

Mark your calendars
We need six weekend closures to rehabilitate the westbound trestle. These closures are tentatively scheduled for 7 p.m. Friday to 4 a.m. Monday on the following weekends:
  • June 22-25
  • June 29-July 2
  • July 13-16
  • July 20-23
  • August 3-6
  • August 10-13
The Detour
For the first four weekend closures, we will reverse traffic on 20th Street Southeast.
During the first four weekend closures of westbound US 2, travelers will be detoured westbound on 20th Street SE and returned to the far west end of the US 2 Hewitt Avenue trestle, just before the I-5 interchange.

20th Street Southeast is a single-lane road and doesn’t have the space to efficiently move all the travelers who will be booted off westbound US 2 during these closures.

Help us keep traffic moving:
Travelers who want to go west toward Everett during these closures should consider these options:
  • Brace for congestion. We expect nearby state routes 9, 96 and 528 to get slammed with travelers avoiding the US 2 detour on 20th Street.
  • Carpool
  • Take transit
  • Move discretionary travel to a non-construction weekend travel during non-peak hours. Before 8 a.m. or after 8 p.m.
  • Be a helper. Share this information with friends and family.
  • Be prepared. Check ahead before you get behind the wheel.
    • Our website will have closure and lane reduction updates.
    • Get weekly email updates on King and Snohomish County projects.
    • Our Twitter account will have info about traffic.
    • Download our mobile app for traffic maps and other news and updates.
Thanks in advance
We know there’s no good time to close an entire direction of a busy highway like US 2, and that these closures disrupt weekend travel plans. However, doing this extensive preservation work will reduce the need for future emergency repairs that add time to already long commutes in Snohomish County. We appreciate any adjustments you make to help us complete this important preservation work on US 2.

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Hawk holdout delays bridge painting project

No, not Earl Thomas. A pair of red-tailed hawks picked a surprising place to nest

By Marqise Allen

Our construction projects often deal with rain delays, but a bird delay? That's a new one.

And that's what happened when two red-tailed hawks nested on the SR 99 Aurora Bridge in Seattle, throwing off the original schedule to begin painting the bridge this spring.

They say raising a child takes a village. The same could be said for raising a baby red-tailed hawk on a bridge in the middle of Seattle. Though the birds are common to the area, it's extremely rare for them to nest on bridges. Red-tailed hawks typically nest with their egg in trees in urban environments. Maybe a high rise at worst.
Left: Peek-a-boo. Gerry, a young red-tailed hawk born on Seattle’s Aurora Bridge, gives us a look from a safe distance.
Right: The SR 99 Aurora Bridge red-tailed hawks proved elusive for photos, but this is likely what they looked like.

While we're caretakers of our highway infrastructure, we also work to protect wildlife. Ensuring the egg's survival meant coordinating state agencies and the contractor for the project, patience, and a bit of luck.

These two lovebirds likely have experience landing a home in a housing market that can be tough even for hawks. The pair are probably the same birds that nested on the bridge during the first phase of the painting project in 2016. Unfortunately, the nest was built too close to where workers were already painting on the north side of the bridge, directly below the bridge deck. The nest was moved and the egg was given to the Burke Museum.

"We wanted to prevent a similar situation this time," said biology lead Katina Kapantais.  "So we kept an eye out for them. We saw them hanging out around the bridge, but we never saw a nest."
A look at where two red-tailed hawks nested on the SR 99 Aurora Bridge, causing a bridge painting job to be delayed.

Usually it takes red-tailed hawks a couple of weeks to set up a nest. This pair did it in three to four days during Easter this year. And they not only built their home during the holiday weekend, but also laid an egg.

Kapantais said we initially thought we'd need to move the nest again, but instead the contractor – Liberty Maintenance – proposed working around the birds instead. They proposed a number of options and worked to adjust their schedule for a few weeks and limit noise to avoid disturbing the birds. The Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife reviewed and signed off on the plan.

And everyone's patience paid off. The egg successfully hatched in early May.  The baby bird – which our contractor named Gerry – has already taken flight and left the nest for higher beams in the area. It'll stay near the nest for the next few months until it builds up enough strength to hunt and fly farther before moving on somewhere else.

Even in ideal circumstances, baby red-tailed hawks have about a 50 percent chance of survival, Kapantais said. Many either flame out of flight school (a pass/fail course) or their parents simply abandon them and stop bringing food.

"The fact that this one survived with roads and water below is great news," Kapantais said. "And it took a group effort."

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Foam Base: Crews use blocks of geofoam to build a new ramp on SR 167

By Victoria Miller

If you drive on State Route 167 in Renton near the Interstate 405 interchange, you may have noticed an imposing tower of big white blocks stacked in the median. Contrary to popular belief, they aren’t actually giant sugar cubes. They are a material called geofoam that is critical to building one of the bridge approach ramps on the I-405/SR 167 Interchange Direct Connector Project.
Nope, these aren’t giant sugar cubes. We’re using geofoam to build bridge approach ramps on our Direct Connector project.

Why did we decide to use geofoam?
For those who aren’t familiar with the Direct Connector, it’s a new flyover ramp currently under construction that will connect the I-405 HOV lanes to the SR 167 HOT lanes.

To take drivers up and over the interchange, crews need to build what we call approach ramps on each side. On the I-405 side, crews are able to use compacted soil to build the ramp. But they can’t use this same method as easily on the SR 167 side because the underlying soils are very soft and would settle or sink over time under the weight of the compacted soil. In this case, our contractor decided to use geofoam blocks instead of compacted soil to keep the project moving on schedule. Since late April, crews have been installing more than 2,700 blocks between the concrete walls of the SR 167 ramp, and their work is now almost complete.

What are the benefits to using geofoam?
Although you may not realize it when looking at a finished construction project, geofoam is actually quite common. We have used this synthetic material on other construction projects, including the direct access ramp at the I-405/NE 128th Street interchange in Kirkland, on SR 519 near Safeco Field in Seattle, and at the I-405/NE 10th Street Bridge in Bellevue.

The most common other fill material that we use — good old-fashioned dirt — would require more extensive work to improve the ground. Crews would need to bring oversized piles of dirt to the work zone and dump them onto the ground – a practice we refer to as surcharging or preloading – causing it to settle. This method can take longer and have higher costs because crews have to wait until the ground has settled before removing a portion of that dirt and building a structure on top of it.

Using geofoam reduces the weight placed on the underlying soils, eliminates the need for that ground improvement process and speeds up construction. First, crews dig out a section of the ground that is greater than the weight of the geofoam. Then they place blocks of geofoam and stick them together with a quick-setting commercial roofing adhesive. Once all the geofoam is in place, crews tie reinforcing steel on top of it between the ramp walls and then pour concrete on top.
Once the geofoam is in place, crews tie reinforcing steel on top before pouring concrete (above and below).


How much does the geofoam weigh?
The geofoam weighs a fraction of the weight of normal soil, yet it is just as strong because it is manufactured to meet the same strength standards as other methods. The dirt that crews dig out before placing the geofoam weighs more than all of the geofoam being placed.

Each standard block of geofoam has a weight of 248 pounds. Once all of the blocks are installed, their total weight will be almost 700,000 pounds! If we used only dirt, it would weigh as much as 100 times more and have greater impacts on the ground in this area.
Each standard block of geofoam weighs 248 pounds, and once they’re all installed the total weight will be 700,000 pounds.
Using innovating materials and techniques helps construction crews complete our projects as quickly as possible.

We realize that construction is disruptive to traffic and to the communities nearby, and we are working to bring travel benefits to the public as soon as possible. That’s why we are working with our contractors to look for innovative materials and construction techniques — such as geofoam — to complete our projects as quickly as we can.

Thursday, June 7, 2018

Fresh paint brings new lane configurations on I-5 near DuPont

By Cara Mitchell

Travelers who use the Center Drive on-ramp to southbound Interstate 5 will soon see a change in how they merge onto the highway.

As early as next week, contractor crews working on the I-5 - Mounts Rd. to Center Dr. Auxiliary Lane Extension project will stripe southbound I-5 to its final configuration of four lanes from the Center Drive overpass, with the lanes tapering to three near Mounts Road.

This change adds some capacity to the interstate at this location. It also means that travelers entering southbound from Center Drive will need to merge left twice before reaching the Mounts Road exit. Currently drivers only merge left once.

This work will require a series of overnight lane and ramp closures on southbound I-5 between Center Drive and Mounts Road.

Crews will begin their work near the Mounts Road on-ramp to southbound I-5 and continue their way north towards the Center Drive overpass. Each night will involve a different section of southbound I-5 and associated ramps. Rain could reschedule the work.

One down, three to go
The auxiliary lane extension project is the first of a four staged construction project that widens nearly 8 miles of I-5 and rebuilds three interchanges between Mounts Road and Gravelly Lake Drive in Pierce County.
The northbound I-5 auxiliary lane opened to traffic in November 2017. As early as the week of June 11,
southbound I-5 will be restriped to its final configuration.

In 2017, I-5 was widened between Center Drive and Mounts Road to extend a northbound auxiliary lane from Mounts Road to Steilacoom-DuPont Road. This work required all lanes of I-5 between Center Drive and Mounts Road to temporarily shift toward the right shoulders, thus creating a work zone in the center median for the project.

In November 2017, the northbound lanes of I-5 were striped into their permanent configuration and the new auxiliary lane opened to traffic. The wet winter weather prevented final striping in the southbound direction. After the southbound striping and final signage is installed, the auxiliary lane extension project will be complete.

The second stage of construction that rebuilds the Berkeley Street and Thorne Lane interchanges and widens I-5 just north of Steilacoom-DuPont Road to Thorne Lane will begin early fall.

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Secure your load: every trip, every time

By Barbara LaBoe

You click your seat belt when getting behind the wheel and make sure child seats are securely fastened – but do you give the same attention to items you're hauling?

Unsecure loads can be deadly, yet we still regularly see items from trash to large pieces of wood or metal flying out of the back of vehicles on roadways. Last year, the Washington State Patrol contacted 6,268 vehicles for failing to secure their load and at least 170 collisions were caused by unsecure loads. Of those, 16 involved injuries.

Nationally, more than 200,000 crashes between 2011 and 2014 were caused by road debris, according to a recent study by the AAA Foundation for Safety, including 39,000 injuries and 500 deaths.

Seattle's Robin Abel knows the dangers all too well.

In 2004, her daughter was seriously injured by road debris on Interstate 405. The experience made Abel a safety crusader. She's since lobbied state and federal officials and this year 47 states and the U.S. Virgin Islands will officially recognize June 6 as Secure Your Load Day, vowing to educate the public on the importance of safely securing loads.

"Unsecured loads and road debris are not freak accidents but frequent incidents and most are preventable with just a few minutes of time and a few dollars in equipment," Abel said.
This Washington State Patrol photo from a 2016 unsecure load crash on State Route 97 shows just how dangerous items can be when they crash into oncoming vehicles. The driver of this car was sent to the hospital but survived.

It's not just large items either. Even a hammer or shovel thrown in the back of a pick-up truck can turn dangerous once it's suddenly hurtling toward other travelers. "A 20-pound object at 55 mph has a force of 1,000 pounds at impact," Abel said.

Abel worked for tougher laws for those who violate the secure load laws in Washington and elsewhere – making it expensive as well as dangerous to drive with unsecure loads. In our state, fines now range from a $228 citation to criminal charges if items cause property damage or injuries.

In addition to the danger, unsecure loads also are a major culprit in roadside trash along our highways. We spend $4 million a year on roadway cleanup and have an active Adopt-A-Highway program and the Department of Ecology Youth Corps program assisting with trash clean up. Despite those efforts, the amount of trash on roadways continues to grow. Even a "quick trip" to a landfill or helping a friend move requires tying down or otherwise securing the items.

Not sure how to make your load secure? Abel and the Washington State Patrol suggest these safety tips:
  • Tie down load with rope, netting or straps
  • Tie large objects directly to the vehicle or trailer
  • Cover the entire load with a sturdy tarp or netting
  • Don't overload the vehicle
  • Always double check load to make sure a load is secure
"Secure Your Load as if everyone you love is driving in the car behind you," Abel said. Because, after all, someone's loved ones are.
The hydraulic cylinder lift arm that came off another vehicle crashed through the windshield of this car in 2016, narrowly missing the driver.

Friday, June 1, 2018

Incident Response Team member jumps over guardrail to avoid being hit by drunk driver

By Tina Werner

It was an early September morning in 2017 and Kathy Vatter was almost on vacation. She didn’t know things were about to change.

Driving conditions on State Route 512 in Parkland near Pacific Avenue were clear and dry, what some would refer to as a "calm night." But calm nights can change in an instant, as it did for Kathy, an Incident Response Team Supervisor and a 33-year employee with our agency.

Around 3 a.m., Kathy received a call from our traffic management center that there had been a deadly collision on SR 512. She arrived on scene to set up traffic control, turning on her flashing orange arrows to divert and warn traffic away from the crash area. As cars flew by, Kathy noticed one particular vehicle that appeared to be approaching the scene and not slowing down.

"It was in that moment I knew they weren’t going to move over and I needed to act fast," Kathy said.

To avoid being hit, Kathy jumped over the highway guardrail. Within seconds, the oncoming vehicle slammed into her IRT truck with such force that both vehicles were totaled.
Kathy Vatter’s IRT truck was hit by a drunk driver on SR 512 in Parkland.

"It seemed like forever," Kathy said.

The causing driver was driving under the influence of alcohol. The driver’s passenger suffered serious injuries in the collision. That’s statistically common, as 96 percent of people hurt in work zone collisions are the motorist, their passengers or passing pedestrians.

Fortunately, Kathy wasn’t hurt, and in fact helped direct traffic through the area while the State Patrol and emergency responders worked the scene.
Kathy waited with the motorist and passenger until State Patrol and emergency
responders arrived on scene, while continuing to redirect traffic.

Kathy was lucky, however many of our workers can’t say the same.

Since 1950, we have had 60 workers killed on the job – many of them in marked roadway work zones. On average our state has 837 roadway work zone injuries annually.
The guardrail where Kathy Vatter jumped to avoid being hit by an oncoming drunk driver.

Luckily, Kathy’s awareness of her surroundings and quick action saved her from injury.

"I want to live to retire," she said. "If I had been injured that night, our lives would look a whole lot different."

Fortunately, Kathy and her husband Ron are still able to enjoy their active outdoor lifestyle, including hiking and swimming. But all that could have changed in an instant.
Kathy Vatter and her husband Ron celebrating his 60th birthday.

"I am just glad it was me," Kathy said. "Someone with less experience might not have been so lucky and that would devastate our team."

You can help road workers stay safe by:
  • Slowing down – Drive the posted speeds, they’re there for your safety.
  • Be kind – Our workers are improving the roadways and helping to keep you safe.
  • Pay attention – Both to workers directing you and to surrounding traffic.
  • Stay calm – Expect delays, leave early or take an alternate route if possible; no meeting or appointment is worth risking someone’s life.
Remember, road workers have family and friends they want to go home to safely. Please do your part to help.

"Lots of people forget we are humans too," Kathy said.

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Dual highway closures will cause region-wide weekend congestion

UPDATES
Thursday, May 31

This weekend's westbound closure of the US 2 trestle has been postponed due to weather and will be rescheduled for the weekend of June 22-25.
Northbound I-5 through Seattle, westbound US 2 between Snohomish and Everett close late Friday, June 1 and reopen early Monday, June 4

By Frances Fedoriska

Drivers need to double down and study their weekend routes before a pair of closures bring congestion across the region. Not planning ahead is a gamble that could have travelers spending a lot of time in gridlock in King and Snohomish counties between the night of Friday, June 1 and early Monday, June 4.

Why are you closing two directions of two highways at the same time?
Both the northbound Revive I-5 and westbound US 2 projects need multiple weekend closures during warm, dry weather. In the Pacific Northwest, those requirements immediately limit our crews’ window of opportunity to a handful of months. To accommodate as many projects as possible in our short construction season, we look for opportunities to combine closures when appropriate. A northbound I-5 closure in Seattle combined with a westbound US 2 closure in Snohomish County is workable because travelers trying to go north on I-5 will not encounter the westbound closure of US 2.

Why weekend closures?
The short answer is, our crews can get a lot more work done during a full weekend closure than during a quick, overnight closure. We did a deeper dive into those details in this Revive I-5 blog and this entry about US 2. These weekend closures help shorten these major preservation projects, getting commuters and commerce back on Washington’s freeways in a shorter amount of time.

King County congestion
At 8 p.m. on Friday, June 1 we will begin to completely close northbound I-5 at the West Seattle Bridge for the first of two full weekend closures (the second is scheduled for the weekend of July 13 – 14). The lanes are scheduled to reopen by 5 a.m. Monday, June 4. Full freeway closures allow crews to complete the same amount of work that would otherwise require several additional weekend-long partial closures and lane reductions of northbound I-5.
View larger I-5 closure map (pdf 963 kb)

US 2 westbound closure
The westbound US 2 Hewitt Avenue trestle in Snohomish County will close at 7 p.m. Friday, June 1 between the SR 204 interchange to approximately the on-ramp from Homeacres Road.

All lanes are scheduled to reopen by 4 a.m. Monday, June 4. During this first partial trestle closure we will remove old, damaged pavement, inspect the trestle, make any needed repairs and put down a new layer of asphalt on the far east end of the Hewitt Avenue trestle.

This work is weather dependent. We need a total of six weekends to completely rehabilitate the westbound trestle. The five other closures are tentatively scheduled for 7 p.m. Friday to 4 a.m. Monday on the following weekends:

  • June 22 – June 25
  • June 29 – July 2
  • July 13 – July 16
  • July 20 – July 23 
  • August 3 – August 6

The US 2 Detour
On an average June weekend, roughly 2,600 westbound travelers use this stretch of US 2 every hour. The two-lane highway can handle the traffic. The one-lane 20th Street Southeast detour we will use this weekend doesn't have the capacity to efficiently move every westbound traveler displaced during this US 2 closure.
During the weekend closures of westbound US 2, we will reverse 20th Street Southeast to be westbound only. It will carry drivers up the ramp to the far western end of the US 2 Hewitt Avenue trestle, just before the I-5 interchange.

View larger US 2 closure map (pdf 811 kb)

Across the region, we need help keeping traffic moving
Travelers who want to go west toward Everett, or north through Seattle between June 1 and June 4 need to consider these options:

  • Plan for congestion throughout the region. Keeping drivers off northbound I-5 and westbound US 2 will create a region-wide ripple effect of backups and delays.
    • In Seattle/King County prepare for long waits on state routes 99, 509, 599, 18, 167, 520, I-405 and I-90. City streets also see significant congestion as folks try to sneak around the backups.
    • In Snohomish County brace for congestion on state routes 9, 96 and 528 as those roads become crammed with travelers avoiding US 2 and the 20th Street detour.
  • Carpool
  • Transit. Buses reduce the number of cars on alternate routes, light rail avoids the roads altogether.
  • Move discretionary travel to a non-construction weekend.
  • Travel during non-peak hours. For both closures this is before 8 a.m. or after 9 p.m.
  • Be a helper. Share this information with anyone you know who may be thinking about traveling north through Seattle or west through Snohomish County.
  • Be prepared. Check ahead before you get behind the wheel. 
    • Our website will have closure and lane reduction updates.
    • Get weekly email updates on King and Snohomish County projects.
    • Our Twitter account will have info about traffic.
    • Download our mobile app for traffic maps and other news and updates.

Thanks in advance
We know there’s no good time to close a highway in any direction, and that these closures will present significant challenges to travelers. Doing this extensive preservation work will reduce the need for future emergency repairs that add time to already long commutes in King and Snohomish counties. We appreciate any adjustments you make to help us complete this important preservation work on I-5 and US 2.

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Full closure of northbound I-5 at the West Seattle Bridge June 1-4

By Lisa Van Cise

As you're making plans for your holiday road trip this Memorial Day weekend, we also want you to think ahead to next weekend, June 1-4, because road construction to Revive I-5 in Seattle will be back in a big way.

This work includes two weekends of a full closure of northbound I-5 at the West Seattle Bridge. The full closures of the freeway allow crews to complete work equal to several partial closures in just one weekend.

Completely closing northbound I-5 will also allow the contractor access to 14 of the 37 expansion joints located in a very tight space, with limited shoulder widths and large machinery. Unlike previous weekends with partial lane closures, there's simply not enough room in this section of I-5 to replace the old expansion joints while keeping lanes open for travelers.

Northbound I-5 will begin narrowing to two lanes at 8 p.m. Friday, June 1, near Southcenter as we also repair expansion joints at the Duwamish River in order to combine work and reduce the number of weekends of lane closures on this major north-south route. The second weekend closure is tentatively scheduled for Friday night, July 13 to Monday morning, July 16. The weekend work is weather dependent which means rain could postpone the closures.
Photo that shows contractor crews tearing up old concrete from above
View from above: contractor crews tear up old concrete on northbound I-5
in Seattle during the May 19-20 weekend closure.

Regional traffic backups 8 p.m. Friday, June 1 to 5 a.m. Monday, June 4
If your quest for fun involves a trip on northbound I-5 through Seattle (or really anywhere in the greater Puget Sound region), you're going to need to plan for major region-wide travel delays. We know this is a inconvenience and will create a challenge to get around. Here's some suggestions on how to prepare:
  • Know what you're getting yourself into before you leave. This is a major closure that will affect people who use northbound I-5 and beyond. Let's think about the ripple effect: Some will decide to wade through the backups, but others will use alternate routes. Enter state routes 18, 99, 167, 509, 599, 520 and I-405 and I-90. During our May 18-21 partial closure of northbound I-5, we saw backups of 7 miles or more on both I-5 and I-405. City streets also see significant congestion as folks try to sneak around the backups.
  • Be a helper. The more people who carpool, use transit or delay discretionary trips, the more manageable the backups and delays will be. We recognize it's not possible for everyone to use transit or delay trips, but everyone who can helps those who can't.
  • Be prepared. Check ahead before you get behind the wheel. Bookmark our Seattle area traffic page, download our app and follow us on Twitter for the very latest travel conditions. 
There's no way around it, things are going to be a big challenge. But planning ahead should help take some of the sting out of it. Thank you, as always, for your patience as we complete this critical work on I-5.

Staying safe on the SR 20 North Cascades Highway

By Mike Allende

It's shaping up to be a warm and sunny Memorial Day weekend and it just might be the perfect time to take your motorcycle out on the highway.

One of our most popular routes for motorcycles is the beautiful SR 20 North Cascades Highway, which opened after its yearly winter closure earlier in May. But, while undeniably scenic, the road can also be one of the most hazardous – especially for those on motorcycles.
The SR 20 North Cascades Highway is one of our most popular routes for people to ride their motorcycles across.

Each year, on average, 14 motorcycles are involved in collisions on the North Cascades Highway. Of these crashes, 95 percent result in injury to the rider. Unfortunately, we've already seen one fatal motorcycle crash on the highway this year.

The vast majority – 75 percent – of motorcycle-involved crashes on the North Cascades Highway happen on curves during the daytime and on dry roads.
The North Cascades Highway is twisty and drivers must pay attention to their speed on the winding roads.

We teamed with the Federal Highway Administration on a study to help make the highway safer for everyone. Among the safety improvements we're making are:
  • Adding advanced curve warning and speed advisory signs
  • Adding arrow boards along curves
  • Adding intersection warning and road name signs
In addition, we've created a safety brochure that we're distributing to businesses throughout the corridor with tips about keeping everyone safe. Some of those are highlighted below.
Left: We're distributing these safety brochures all along the SR 20 North Cascades Highway corridor to encourage motorcycle safety. Right: We're adding several new signs like this to indicate curves on the North Cascades Highway.

Our maintenance crews work to remove debris like fallen rocks from the roadway, as well as repair damaged pavement and maintain pavement markings and signs. But we need drivers' help as well.
  • Always be alert when operating a vehicle. No distracted driving.
  • Never operate a vehicle – whether it has two wheels, four or even more – when impaired.
  • Please watch your speed – this is a twisty, winding highway.
  • If you're operating a motorcycle or bicycle, make yourself as visible as possible. And remember, it's the law to wear a helmet.
  • Use our scenic turnouts when they're fatigued or want to safely get good views of the area. There are dozens of scenic turnouts along the highway.
  • When pulling out of a turn or side street, look twice for motorcycles.
  • If you're following a motorcycle, give them space as motorcycles can decelerate far quicker than other vehicles.
  • Be on the lookout for wildlife crossing the highway.
Everyone plays a role in keeping everyone else safe on the highways. Be alert, watch your speed and following distance and work together to have a safe holiday weekend.

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Adventure is out there - join us on May 20 to celebrate the SR 520 Trail!

By Emily Durante

May is one of our favorite months here on the SR 520 Project. The warmer weather signals that at last our long winter is behind us and summer is on the way. This change in season is a great time to explore local and regional pedestrian and bicycle trails, and coincides nicely with May, Bike Everywhere Month. May also plays host to our favorite day of the year – "520 Day" – also known as May 20!

This 520 Day, we're celebrating the SR 520 Trail with an informal ribbon-cutting event. Last December, hundreds of community members gathered to help us open the trail across Lake Washington and take the inaugural trip across the lake. Now that it's warming up outside, we want to officially cut the ribbon to celebrate the trail's "opening" and kick off the summer adventure season.
Some of the inaugural SR 520 Trail users enjoyed a beautiful, if chilly ride on Dec. 20, 2017.

The trail is designed for users of all abilities and types of travel, including by foot, bicycle, wheelchair, skateboard or stroller. Since the trail opened in December 2017, it's quickly become a vital part of our region's bicycle and pedestrian network. Bicyclists and pedestrians have taken more than 110,000 trips on the trail since December. Every day hundreds of people use the trail to commute, exercise or take advantage of outstanding views of Lake Washington and Union Bay.
We hope you're able to join us this Sunday, May 20. We'll have a short ceremony at 11 a.m. to cut a ribbon and "open" the SR 520 Trail. We'll be joined by a few of our community partners, including Cascade Bicycle Club, which has worked with us for more than 20 years to make this trail a reality. After the ceremony, you'll have a chance to cut your very own ribbon and get an SR 520 Trail sticker! As you hang out and enjoy the trail, representatives from our community partners, including the Seattle Running Club, will be on hand to share more about the great work they do. Additionally, SR 520 Program staff will be available to answer questions about the Trail and our ongoing reconstruction project.
The segment of the new SR 520 Trail on the floating bridge opened as an out-and-back excursion in July 2016.

What's next?
In the years to come we'll be extending the SR 520 Trail across Portage Bay and building a new, non-motorized crossing over I-5. We'll improve the connection to the Bill Dawson Trail, and build a new bicycle and pedestrian land bridge over SR 520 that connects the Washington Park Arboretum (and its recently completed Arboretum Loop Trail) to East Montlake Park. Most importantly, we'll continually work to make sure this trail serves the growing number of people choosing non-motorized forms of transportation for generations to come.

#ReviveI5, US 2 closure to hit Seattle and Snohomish County traffic hard this weekend, May 19-20

UPDATES
Friday, May 18

The scheduled closure of the westbound US 2 trestle in Snohomish County has been postponed due to forecasted rainy weather. It will be rescheduled for early June.
By Ally Barrera

The combination of popular spring events and major roadwork mean people planning to head to either Seattle or around Snohomish County this weekend should prepare for substantial traffic delays.

Travelers should plan extra time to get around, as well as:
  • Take public transportation (including the train or light rail).
  • Carpool
  • Travel early or late
  • Avoid discretionary trips if possible.
One glance at this week's Weekend Paint Map, and you'll see why we are urging folks to plan ahead.
Travelers in the Seattle and Snohomish County areas could see delays of up to an hour
due to major roadwork and special events

Westbound US 2 full closure
The westbound US 2 Hewitt Avenue trestle between Lake Stevens and Everett will be closed starting 7 p.m. Friday until 4 a.m. Monday. A detour will be in place via 20th Street Southeast, but travelers should prepare for long backups on all area roads, including State Route 9.

#ReviveI5 lane reductions
Northbound Interstate 5 will be down to two lanes between the West Seattle Bridge and SR 520 beginning at 8 p.m. Friday and lasting to 5 a.m. Monday. The following ramps will also close during this time:
  • Dearborn Street on-ramp to northbound I-5
  • Northbound I-5 off-ramp to Seneca Street
  • University Street on-ramp to northbound I-5
  • Mercer Street on-ramp to northbound I-5
We saw large backups on northbound I-5 last weekend, and it took drivers at least a half hour to get through the closure area. We hope that if enough people stay away from northbound I-5 – either by taking alternate routes or limiting discretionary travel – we can keep the backups to a minimum.

I-5 Ship Canal Bridge maintenance work
Our bridge maintenance crews will close the two left lanes of northbound I-5 between SR 520 and Northeast 45th/50th Street on Saturday and Sunday mornings for some much needed deck repair work.
Bridge crews will spend the weekend repairing areas of the Ship Canal Bridge deck, like the one above

The far left lane will close from 3 a.m. Saturday to 11 a.m. Sunday. The second left lane will close from 3 a.m. to noon on Saturday, and from 3 to 10 a.m. on Sunday.

Express lanes open northbound
The I-5 express lanes will be open in the northbound direction from 11:15 a.m. Friday to 4:30 a.m. Monday. Because of this, travelers who use southbound I-5 between Lynnwood and Seattle should also expect big backups and slow speeds.

Beat the Bridge Run/Walk
Folks trying to get around the Montlake and University District neighborhoods should expect several road closures between the University Village shopping mall and just south of SR 520 from 7:30 to 10 a.m. Sunday.

The following roads and ramps will be closed during that time:
  • Both directions of Montlake Boulevard Northeast between Northeast 44th Street and Husky Stadium
  • Both directions of the Montlake Bridge
  • The westbound SR 520 off-ramp to Montlake Boulevard Northeast
  • The left turn lane on the eastbound SR 520 off-ramp to Montlake Boulevard Northeast
Special Events
Friday, May 18:
  • Mariners vs. Detroit Tigers, 7:10 p.m., Safeco Field
  • Paul Simon concert, 7:30 p.m., KeyArena
Saturday, May 19:
  • University District Street Fair, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., U-District
  • Mariners vs. Detroit Tigers, 6:10 p.m., Safeco Field
  • Stars on Ice, 7:30 p.m., KeyArena
  • Chris Young concert, 7:30 p.m., Tacoma Dome
Sunday, May 20:
  • University District Street Fair, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., U-District
  • Mariners vs. Detroit Tigers, 1:10 p.m., Safeco Field
We appreciate everyone's patience heading into this busy weekend. We also appreciate your help in spreading the word. If you know someone hitting the road in the Puget Sound area this weekend, make sure they know about the delays ahead of them!

Our #KnowBeforeYouGo resources
Following @WSDOT_Traffic on Twitter for real-time info.

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Understanding all modes of transportation key in building system that works for everyone

By Roger Millar

Last week, Secretary of Transportation Roger Millar sent this message in honor of Bike Month to all staff members. The message has since then made its way outside our agency and has been well received. We'd like to share it with you:

You're probably familiar with the phrase "walk a mile in someone else's shoes." We tend to use it metaphorically but trying it for real can yield a whole new appreciation for the importance of a transportation system designed with every mode in mind, not just one. After all, even if you rely on a personal vehicle to get from one place to another you'll still be a pedestrian after you park the car.

The same is true for "rolling a mile on someone else's bike." You may not use a bike for transportation but if you were to try riding from a neighborhood to the grocery store, your job site, or just the nearest transit stop, you'd experience how it feels to travel on a street or road that doesn't include provision for your mode.

This understanding matters for our work on behalf of all Washington residents (including our future selves – when someday we're not able to drive ourselves where we want to go). Better biking and walking connections serve not just people who choose those modes, but also people using those modes out of necessity.

The opening of the SR 520 trail provided a key link for bicyclists and pedestrians across Lake Washington.


That's more people than you might think. Over 22 percent – more than one in five – of people in Washington don't hold a driver's license. They may be too young, too old, have a disability that doesn't permit them to drive, choose not to drive, or face a legal barrier. Whatever the reason, they don't drive – and they're still using the transportation system.

One of the fastest-growing reasons people don't drive? They can't afford to own and operate a car. We have a deepening opportunity gap in our state, particularly in the Puget Sound but growing everywhere. We must provide safety and mobility for the people who need it most to gain access to jobs, education, food, health care, and other essential goods and services.

A bike can be the key that unlocks the door to opportunity but lack of comfortable, complete connections can keep that door from opening. These are the people biking to home from a late shift or on their way to an early one. The people carrying a bag on the handlebar to get their groceries home the only way they can, because a rack and bike bag aren't in the budget. The people whose headlights are dead because batteries cost money. The mom taking her kids to school by bike because the family has one car and it's in use. The senior citizen pedaling slowly to the doctor's office because their reflexes aren't up to the speed of driving decisions any more.

When we design and build better connections for biking, or make it easier to cross state right-of-way to access the quieter, calmer local streets, we're working for them. For several years now Washington has led the nation in policies, infrastructure, education and funding to support people who use bicycles to get around – but there's more work to be done.

As we celebrate Bike Month (pdf 644 kb) in May, let's consider what we can do differently to help all people get around, regardless of the mode they use. Imagine riding that mile "on another's bike" – while designing and building projects, and when approaching, passing or turning near a person on a bike. Let's make it safe and convenient for everyone to get where they want to be.

Thank you for your service.


Roger

Thursday, May 10, 2018

The sweet tradition continues

By Andrea E. Petrich

For the first time in decades, the opening of SR 20's North Cascades Highway seasonal gate will be without Tootsie Clark.
Tootsie at the SR 20 North Cascades Highway gate opening in 1994. Photo courtesy the Clark family

Known to many as the cinnamon roll lady, she passed away last fall, leaving a cinnamon roll legacy that stretches farther than the Marblemont resident likely ever imagined.

"She just loved the highway," her granddaughter Jurene Brooks said. "And she loved the crews."
Our crews enjoying Tootsie's cinnamon rolls in 2010. Photo courtesy the Clark family

More than a decade ago, the former proprietor of Clark's Skagit River Cabins and Eatery started bringing cinnamon rolls to the gate to share with crews.

"It was a way to show her appreciation," Jurene said. "She knew that once those gates were open, people would come from both sides of the mountains and business would flourish."
Tootsie pushing the SR 20 gate open in 2007. Photo courtesy the Clark family

Jurene plans to help carry on the legacy and honor her late grandmother at the 2018 opening. She has spent the week preparing more than 100 cinnamon rolls to hand out to those at the western gate in Diablo on opening morning. She tells me that her mom, dad and uncle will also be there just to honor her grandmother and the tradition she built.

Tootsie's family won't be the only ones celebrating the woman who brought so many people together. Regulars at the gate opening over the years became known as "Tootsie's Gang" and many of them will be there too.
Tootsie and her gang at the gate opening in 2015. Photo courtesy the Clark family

Jess Brown lives in Anacortes and since 2003 he's been driving – or if it's warm enough, riding his motorcycle across the Cascades on opening day.

"My boss knows that whenever that opening day is, I'll be taking the day off," Jess said.

That is still the case this year. Jess is loading up his dogs and taking the RV up to the gate where he plans to roll out a biscuits and gravy feast to help carry on the tradition left by his friend, Tootsie.
Longtime opening day friend, Jess Brown, with Tootsie Clark in 2014. Photo courtesy Jess Brown

"She brought people together with her food," Jess said. "We all love the day the highway opens for the season and this is my way of celebrating her, at the event that brought us all together every year."
Tootsie Clark with one of her famous cinnamon rolls. Photo courtesy the Clark family

Tootsie's family has moved out of the area but her cinnamon roll legacy lives on. Not only through her granddaughter, other family and close North Cascades Highway friends but also through the business she once marketed with them.

It's now called Glacier Peak Resort and Winery and Tootsie's cinnamon roll recipe lives on there. The owners will also bring those cinnamon rolls to the 2018 opening.

"A lot of the staff there is the same," said Jurene. "They know how to make gramma's recipe and they'll do a great job."

The first SR 20 North Cascades Highway opening without Tootsie won't be the same, but all the food, all the friends and all the love for this highway is something she helped build and her sweet tradition lives on.

Westbound US 2 trestle closed June 2-3

UPDATED May 24

By Frances Fedoriska

The westbound US 2 Hewitt Avenue trestle in Snohomish County will be closed the weekend of June 2-3 – assuming we get good weather – and to avoid extensive backups and delays, we need drivers to try something new. No, we don't mean whipping up a new dinner recipe or checking out a new museum exhibit. We mean trying a new route, a new carpool, a new start time, even make new weekend plans (if feasible) to avoid heading west during this closure.

Again, if your plans included the westbound US 2 trestle between 7 p.m. Friday, June 1 and 4 a.m. Monday, June 4, start working on an alternate plan.
The westbound US 2 trestle connecting Lake Stevens and Snohomish with Everett
will have six full weekend closures as part of a major repaving project.

But why?
We're repaving three miles of westbound US 2 from Bickford Ave. to I-5. This section hasn't been repaved since 2002 and will require six full weekend closures of the westbound trestle.

Weekend traffic by the numbers
On the average non-holiday weekend in the spring and summer, roughly 2,600 westbound drivers take US 2 between the SR 204 interchange and Everett every hour. The delays are usually minimal on these weekends because the two-lane highway can handle the traffic.

But that's a lot of traffic that will be using other routes during the closure on roads not designed for that many vehicles. There will be a detour using 20th Street SE, but at one lane, it doesn't have the capacity to efficiently move every traveler displaced during this US 2 closure.
During the weekend closure of westbound US 2, we will reverse 20th Street Southeast to be westbound only. It will carry drivers up the ramp to the far western end of the US 2 Hewitt Avenue trestle, just before the I-5 interchange.

We need help to keep traffic moving
If you need to travel westbound to Everett during that weekend, consider your options:
  • Carpool
  • Move discretionary travel to a non-construction weekend.
  • Travel westbound between Lake Stevens and Everett during non-peak hours (before 8 a.m. or after 9 p.m.).
  • Stay longer at your destination to avoid traveling during peak hours.
  • Research alternative routes before the 20th Street SE detour. Get creative!
Thanks in advance
We know that anytime we close roadways it presents a significant challenge to drivers and we appreciate your efforts during these weekend closures. Doing this extensive preservation work will reduce the need for future emergency repairs that add time to already long commutes in Snohomish County. We could also use your help in spreading the word. If you know someone who makes this trip, please let them know!

How to get more information
  • Our website will have closure and lane reduction updates.
  • Get weekly email updates on Snohomish County projects.
  • Our Twitter account will have info about traffic.
  • Download our mobile app for traffic maps and other news and updates.