Thursday, April 26, 2018

Spring makeover coming to US 2 between Everett and Lake Stevens

The final two closures of westbound US 2, postponed due to colder weather in September 2018, are now scheduled for the following weekends:

  • 7 p.m. Friday, June 28 to 4 a.m. Monday, July 1
  • 7 p.m. Friday, July 12 to 4 a.m. Monday, July 15

In the event weather postpones the work, we have identified the following potential backup closure weekends.

  • 7 p.m. Friday, July 19 to 4 a.m. Monday, July 22
  • 7 p.m. Friday, August 2 to 4 a.m. Monday, August 5.
Get more details on why we must complete this project, and what we need from travelers.

By Frances Fedoriska

The three miles of US 2 between the I-5 interchange in Everett and Bickford Avenue in Lake Stevens are getting a critical makeover and travelers should prepare for six weekends of westbound lane closures.

If you've driven this area recently, your tires have told you about the dire state of the asphalt on this stretch of US 2. It's riddled with potholes, gaping cracks and ruts and it needs some help.
Westbound US 2 between Everett and Lake Stevens needs some significant repairs and they're happening this spring.

So starting this spring, our contractor crews will remove the old pavement on the westbound lanes, including the Hewitt Avenue trestle. The pavement is 16 years old, outliving the projected lifespan of 12-to-15 years. Once the battered asphalt is removed, the trestle will be inspected. Any needed repairs will be made to the structure before a new waterproof coating is applied to prevent our harsh PNW weather from corroding the rebar and from water moving down into the concrete bridge deck. Only after all that can the new layer of buttery smooth asphalt be applied.

Crews will also improve almost two miles of the eastbound lanes from the US 2/SR 204 interchange to Bickford. Because the eastbound trestle is made of newer concrete, there's no repaving happening there so no full weekend closures eastbound are needed.

Tentative westbound US 2 weekend closure dates
  • May 18 – May 21 POSTPONED due to weather
  • June 1 – June 3 POSTPONED due to weather
  • June 22 – June 24 POSTPONED due to weather
  • June 29 – July 1 POSTPONED due to weather
  • July 13 – July 16 COMPLETED
  • July 20 – July 23 COMPLETED
  • Aug. 3 – Aug. 6 COMPLETED
  • Aug. 10 – Aug. 13 POSTPONED due to weather
  • Aug. 17 – Aug. 20 COMPLETED
  • Sept. 7 – Sept. 10 POSTPONED due to weather
  • Sept. 14 - Sept. 17 POSTPONED due to weather
  • Sept. 21 - Sept. 24 POSTPONED due to weather
  • Sept. 28 - Oct. 1 POSTPONED to spring 2019
  • Oct. 5 - Oct. 8 POSTPONED to spring 2019
This work is weather-dependent and closures may be rescheduled if it rains.

Why weekend closures?
The need for six weekend closures comes down to size and time constraints.

First up, size. The trestle is too narrow to accommodate construction work, machinery and keep a lane open while still keeping the crews safe from traffic rushing by. Due to the width of the trestle, and to avoid any unnecessary wear and tear on the bridge, crews will use an asphalt removal method called "hand grinding." I pictured people on their hands and knees sanding down the roadway, but that can't be further from the truth. Instead, they'll use a smaller loader to pop up and scrape off the old asphalt. Think of it like removing tiles from the floor of a kitchen or bathroom, but with giant equipment and not hand tools.
No, hand grinding doesn't involve us using hand tools. Instead, a small loader pops up and scraped off old asphalt.
(above and below)

Now to that pesky thing called time. All the preparation work and repairs our crews have to make before pouring new asphalt takes far longer than the seven hours we get in a typical overnight closure.

What we need from drivers

Roughly 2,600 drivers use westbound US 2 every hour on the weekends. State Route 9 and 20th Street Southeast are the primary detours for our weekend closures. Both routes are single-lane and can't absorb all these displaced drivers without creating lengthy backups.

Think about your upcoming weekend plans and whether you could:
  • Carpool.
  • Move discretionary travel to a non-construction weekend.
  • Adjust westbound travel to be during non-peak hours (before 8 a.m. or after 9 p.m.).
  • Plan to stay overnight at your destination so you're traveling during non-peak hours.
Overnight closures
This is a big job, so in addition to the weekend closures westbound, we will also need to shut down some lanes in both directions of US 2 during this project:
  • Overnight work in the westbound lanes of US 2 is scheduled to end by 5 a.m. on weekdays.
  • Overnight work in the westbound lanes of US 2 is scheduled to end by 8 a.m. on weekends.
  • Overnight work in the eastbound lanes of US 2 is scheduled to end by 7 a.m. on weekdays.
  • Overnight work in the eastbound lanes of US 2 is scheduled to end by 9 a.m. on weekends.
Stay updated
There are several ways to stay updated on the work and the schedule:
We appreciate you taking the time to plan ahead, know alternate routes and being an engaged community member. You're taking the right steps to prevent being stuck in traffic, and you're minimizing congestion for your neighbors as well.