Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Westbound US 2 trestle closures return this summer

By Frances Fedoriska

The closure of westbound US 2 originally scheduled for June 22-23, has been postponed to 7 p.m. Friday, Aug. 2 to 4 a.m. Monday, Aug. 5 due to an unfavorable weather forecast.

The same weekend that Buzz, Woody and friends return in Toy Story 4, contractor crews with Lakeside Industries return to the US 2 preservation project that a year ago came so close to completing the repaving of both directions of the highway between Lake Stevens and Everett.
Plenty got done on the US 2 trestle last summer, but there’s still work to be done to complete the project.

Where we’re at

We did get plenty done last year, setting us up well for what’s still to come.

On eastbound US 2, we:
  • Removed old, cracked, rutted and pothole-riddled asphalt from the eastbound lanes
  • Repaved one mile from State Route 204 to Bickford Avenue during overnight closures
  • Side note: the eastbound trestle is made of newer concrete, so no repaving happened there.
On westbound US 2, we:
  • Repaved 2½ miles from Bickford Avenue to near the Snohomish River
  • During four weekend closures, inspected and made any necessary fixes to the Hewitt Avenue trestle to reduce the risk of future emergency repairs.
Cold, wet weather postponed the final two weekends of work, pushing those westbound closures to this year. Now the weather is warm and dry enough for the sequel, er, final closures of the westbound US 2 Hewitt Avenue trestle between SR 9 and Interstate 5.
Putting down the waterproofing material on the US 2 trestle requires a stretch of completely dry weather.

The schedule and the weather

Westbound US 2 will close between SR 9 and I-5 from 7 p.m. Friday, Aug. 2 to 4 a.m. Monday, Aug 5. If weather postpones the work, we have identified potential backup closure weekends later in August and early September.

We can’t emphasize this enough: this work is highly weather-dependent. Closures will be rescheduled if it rains. We need the roadway to be completely dry for this work to get done.

Why weekend closures?

We know for many, the weekends are as precious as a childhood toy. However, they’re also an important time for getting this critical work done for two reasons:
  • The trestle is too narrow to accommodate construction work, machinery and keep a lane open to protect our crews from passing traffic.
  • The preparation work and repairs our crews have to make takes far longer than the seven hours we get in a typical overnight closure.
What we need from drivers

An average of 2,600 drivers use westbound US 2 every hour on the weekends. State routes 9, 96 and 528 will be the primary detours again this year. These roads are already close to capacity and absorbing displaced US 2 drivers will create lengthy backups.
During the full weekend closures of westbound US 2 between I-5 and State Route 9 in 2019,
this will be the official southbound detour route. 

During the last two full weekend closures of westbound US 2 between I-5 and State Route 9 in 2019,
this will be the official northbound detour route.

This video from the September 2018 closure shows the lengthy backups on the detour routes. So please, do one thing differently to help us keep traffic moving so no one misses their rendezvous with Star Command:
  • Carpool
  • Take transit
  • Move discretionary travel to a non-construction weekend
  • Travel before 8 a.m. or after 8 p.m.
  • Share this information with friends and family
  • Be prepared. Check our resources before you get behind the wheel.
    • 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
You’ve got a friend in us

We know there is no good time to shut down an entire direction of a busy highway. Travelers who change their plans or try something new will help us meet our goal of safely getting commuters and commerce back on Washington’s freeways, to infinity and beyond.