Wednesday, July 24, 2019

Plan for delays on SR 542, 547, 548 and US 2 starting late July

Longer delays, backups expected in Whatcom, Snohomish and King counties during second stage of resurfacing work

By Frances Fedoriska

Crews continue to resurface four highways in three counties, but the next phase of the project will bring with it delays of up to 45 minutes.

Daytime lane closures
Contractor crews from Doolittle Construction continue their nighttime and daytime lane closures. Work hours vary depending on the highway, but the majority is happening on weekdays or weeknights, with flaggers and/or a pilot car alternating traffic through a single open lane of highway. Travelers need to continue to factor in extra time into their trips.

Stages of work
During the first phases of resurfacing work that happened in the spring and early summer, crews sealed cracks, repaired damaged pavement, dug out pot holes and filled wheel ruts. I've been documenting their progress on the @WSDOT_North twitter account using #WABST2019. Drivers reported delays hovering around 15-20 minutes during these early phases.
We promise to leave it better than we found it. Contractor crews made repairs to the Bell Creek
bridge west of Deming on SR 542 in the earlier stages of this project.

The second stage will begin in late July and early August, depending on the highway and weather. Crews need dry conditions and hotter temperatures to place a mixture of oil, sand and gravel on the road to form the new asphalt. Then, and here's where the extended wait times come in, they must allow the new surface to properly adhere to the road surface and dry before reopening lanes to traffic.

Travelers should allow an extra 45 minutes in travel time during this second stage of work in the following locations:

Snohomish County
  • US 2 between Mount Index Road near Index and Eagle Falls west of Halford.
King County
  • US 2 between Northeast 182nd Street/east of Baring and Northeast Old Cascade Highway/Money Creek campground.
Whatcom County
  • SR 542/Mount Baker Highway between Britton Road in Bellingham and St. Peter's Catholic Church/Markel Road west of Kendall.
  • SR 547/Kendall Road between Peaceful Valley Drive and Saar Creek/Hillview Road.
  • SR 548/Grandview Road between North Starr Road and the Blaine Road roundabout.
Updated schedules will be sent out every Thursday through the Whatcom county list serv, and posted each Friday on the Whatcom county construction page.

Weather conditions could cancel work in one area and push crews to another area instead. When possible, changes will be posted on the WSDOT North Twitter account.