If you’re a frequent traveler on US 2 between Everett and Lake Stevens, you may have noticed over the years a large crane clearing debris from under the trestle. Usually once or twice a year, especially after a stretch of heavy rain, you’ll see our crew out there. Well, it’s that time of year again. Rain around the Puget Sound area caused water levels to rise, including in the Ebey Slough. This swept wood, logs and other debris from the shore and pushed it downstream toward the trestle’s piers where a logjam, of sorts, formed.
|Logs and debris collects from rising water levels in the Ebey Slough.|
|Heavy machinery breaks up the debris to relieve pressure on the piers and dikes.|
When this happened earlier this month, our maintenance crews jumped into action quickly so to prevent these scenarios. At noon on Tuesday, Oct. 22, we closed the peak-use shoulder lane of eastbound US 2 at the east end of the trestle where we stationed a crane and excavator. The excavator breaks up the debris, the crane moves it to an open channel and a boat crew guides the debris safely downriver, away from the piers. Since this wood debris is naturally-occurring, we abide by environmental regulations and do not remove it from the waterway. Instead, we break up small amounts at a time and push it along with the current. Spotters stand at the trestle’s edge and communicate potential safety risks via a headset to the machine operators, ensuring the heavy machinery does not make contact with the underside of the bridge. Importantly, our crews have not found any damage to the piers or dikes.
|The peak-use shoulder lane of eastbound US 2 closed over the trestle.|