Tuesday, November 1, 2022

Weekend work on northbound I-5 in Everett finished for 2022

 By Tom Pearce

Our last weekend-long lane reduction this year for northbound I-5 in Everett finished Sunday afternoon, Oct. 30. Our contractor, Acme Concrete Paving, was able to replace about 100 old broken concrete panels during two weekends of work last month.

Acme originally planned three weekends with lane closures but were able to do enough during the first two that they only have a small number left, which can be done during overnight shifts. That will mean several overnight lane reductions in the next few weeks before work shuts down for the winter.

Replacing dozens of concrete panels on a busy highway requires weekends to complete. There isn’t enough time to get it all done overnight.

“We’re really pleased that Acme could finish this much work in just two weekends. We have several sections where we needed to replace multiple panels, so it was much more cost-effective to do that during a weekend,” said project engineer Shawn Wendt.

In addition to replacing several more individual panels, the contractor crews will grind the freeway to eliminate ruts caused by decades of wear. Grinding down the high spots outside the wheel ruts will create a smoother surface and reduce puddling when it rains.

Expansion joints on deck for 2023

There will be several more weekend-long lane reductions in Everett next summer as we replace four expansion joints between 41st Street and US 2. To keep lanes open, we have to replace the left or right half one weekend, then the other half during another. We usually replace more than one joint during a weekend.

In 2023 we’ll replace expansion joints at the dots – north of 41st Street, Hewitt and Pacific avenues and US 2.

These joints are more than 50 years old. It takes an entire weekend to replace them because our contractors need to chip out the old joint, make any necessary steel repairs, install the new joint steel, then pour concrete and allow it to cure.

Replacing these joints during scheduled weekends will allow people to make plans to use alternate routes or perhaps delay a trip. It also will help avoid emergency closures if one of these old joints were to break. We’ve had that happen several times in other areas, creating unexpected backups during peak traffic times.

We appreciate your patience as we complete these necessary repairs. I-5 has served all of us well since the 1960s. This work will keep it in good shape for many more decades.