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Four lanes, new bridge coming

Four-year project from Monroe to river to begin this summer

  • Highway 522 crosses the Snohomish River south of Monroe on a single, two-way bridge that will be paired with an additional bridge to double capacity.

    Dan Bates / The Herald

    Highway 522 crosses the Snohomish River south of Monroe on a single, two-way bridge that will be paired with an additional bridge to double capacity.

  • Currently, all Highway 522 traffic shares a single bridge over the Snohomish River south of Monroe. A second span will be added over the next four yea...

    Dan Bates / The Herald

    Currently, all Highway 522 traffic shares a single bridge over the Snohomish River south of Monroe. A second span will be added over the next four years.

  • A dump truck passes over the Snohomish River on Highway 522 south of Monroe on Thursday.

    Dan Bates / The Herald

    A dump truck passes over the Snohomish River on Highway 522 south of Monroe on Thursday.

  • A photo illustration shows the current intersection of Highway 522 and Main Street in Monroe.

    A photo illustration shows the current intersection of Highway 522 and Main Street in Monroe.

  • A photo illustration shows the layout of the new Highway 522 interchange at Main Street in Monroe.

    Washington State Department of Transportation

    A photo illustration shows the layout of the new Highway 522 interchange at Main Street in Monroe.

  • A photo illustration shows the current two-lane Highway 522 bridge over the Snohomish River.

    Washington State Department of Transportation

    A photo illustration shows the current two-lane Highway 522 bridge over the Snohomish River.

  • A photo illustration shows the new and current bridges over the Snohomish River.

    Washington State Department of Transportation

    A photo illustration shows the new and current bridges over the Snohomish River.

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By Alejandro Dominguez
Herald Writer
Published:
  • Highway 522 crosses the Snohomish River south of Monroe on a single, two-way bridge that will be paired with an additional bridge to double capacity.

    Dan Bates / The Herald

    Highway 522 crosses the Snohomish River south of Monroe on a single, two-way bridge that will be paired with an additional bridge to double capacity.

  • Currently, all Highway 522 traffic shares a single bridge over the Snohomish River south of Monroe. A second span will be added over the next four yea...

    Dan Bates / The Herald

    Currently, all Highway 522 traffic shares a single bridge over the Snohomish River south of Monroe. A second span will be added over the next four years.

  • A dump truck passes over the Snohomish River on Highway 522 south of Monroe on Thursday.

    Dan Bates / The Herald

    A dump truck passes over the Snohomish River on Highway 522 south of Monroe on Thursday.

  • A photo illustration shows the current intersection of Highway 522 and Main Street in Monroe.

    A photo illustration shows the current intersection of Highway 522 and Main Street in Monroe.

  • A photo illustration shows the layout of the new Highway 522 interchange at Main Street in Monroe.

    Washington State Department of Transportation

    A photo illustration shows the layout of the new Highway 522 interchange at Main Street in Monroe.

  • A photo illustration shows the current two-lane Highway 522 bridge over the Snohomish River.

    Washington State Department of Transportation

    A photo illustration shows the current two-lane Highway 522 bridge over the Snohomish River.

  • A photo illustration shows the new and current bridges over the Snohomish River.

    Washington State Department of Transportation

    A photo illustration shows the new and current bridges over the Snohomish River.

MONROE -- A nearly $160 million project expected to start this summer will expand Highway 522 to four from two lanes south of Monroe and add a new bridge over the Snohomish River.
Crews are expected to work on the 4-mile stretch until 2015. The goal is to make the roadway safer, prevent head-on accidents and improve traffic congestion.
"This is one of the biggest projects in Snohomish County," said Washington state Department of Transportation spokeswoman Meghan Pembroke.
During construction, drivers will experience some delays with lane closures, including when crews blow up a rock formation later this year to widen the road.
People are invited to attend a meeting today to learn what is expected to happen during construction. The meeting is scheduled from 6 to 8 p.m. in the Monroe High School Commons at 17001 Tester Road. Staff and engineers will be on hand to answer questions.
The gas tax approved by voters in 2003 will fund the project.
The $159.7 million project consists of widening 4 miles of the highway to the south and west of Monroe from 179th Avenue SE in the city to the Snohomish River bridge. About 29,000 cars and trucks use this stretch of highway every day.
The roadway will continue as two lanes for 3 miles south of the Snohomish River, although the state wants to expand that roadway as well. There currently isn't any money for that project.
A concrete-barrier median will be built through the entire four-mile stretch to prevent head-on collisions, Pembroke said. From 2005 to 2009, there have been 92 collisions on the stretch, three of them being fatal and one serious, she said.
At the interchange of Highway 522 with 164th and Main streets, there were an additional 59 collisions in the same time.
A third-of-a-mile-long bridge will be built over the Snohomish River, which will handle the westbound lanes of the freeway. The existing bridge will handle all of the eastbound traffic. Three overpasses will also be built in Monroe.
As part of this project, a new roundabout is planned for the 164th Street SE intersection.
The state will seek bids on the project in April, and construction isn't expected to begin until June. Lane closures could begin this summer although they are expected to occur at night from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m.
To make way for the extra lanes, crews will blast and remove an estimated 300,000 cubic yards worth of rock starting this November, Pembroke said. The work needs to be done during the daytime and crews will close the road for an hour 150 times. The blasts are expected to happen after school starts and before lunchtime, she said.
"We hope to minimize traffic disruption as much as possible," Pembroke said.
Because of the magnitude of the project, the department started meeting with the city, the county and others as early as 2006.
The project will make it faster to drive through the city, said Maggie Inahara, managing engineer for Monroe.
When it's finished, the project will make it easier to get to the Evergreen Fair, said Tom Teigen, parks director for Snohomish County.
Maltby resident Kennalee Bennett said she is happy about the project. She uses Highway 522 about four times a week. This part of the work is necessary but she wants the part of the project at the Paradise Lake Road interchange to be done as well.
"They should have done that years ago," she said.
That part of the project is on hold because of a lack of funding.
Kip Newby of Monroe uses Highway 522 every day because of his work. He agrees the project can help make driving the road safer and easier.
"It feels a little dangerous (the highway) being a two-lane," he said.
Alejandro Dominguez: 425-339-3422 or adominguez@heraldnet.com






Story tags » RoadsMonroeTransportationHighway 522

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