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Published: Monday, June 13, 2011, 12:01 a.m.

Exit signs on I-5 combined for clarity

Pat Wiggins of Silver Lake writes: Driving north on I-5 in Everett, I planned to exit onto Pacific Avenue to go to the Holiday Inn. The exit to Pacific had "Pacific" in small print, and "Snohomish-Monroe" in large print. I skipped that one because it looked like it would take me on the trestle.
The next exit was the trestle exit. "OK, I'll go to Marine View Drive and get back on the freeway and get off at Pacific Ave., heading south."
Surprise! There is no southbound exit to Pacific. So I went to 41st Street and found my way through that intersection and got off at the first exit. Success!
Could the signs to Pacific on northbound I-5 be made more clear? I am glad I didn't get on the trestle and have to come back from Lake Stevens.

Bronlea Mishler, a spokeswoman for the state Department of Transportation, responds: Our engineers reviewed the signs for Pacific Avenue along northbound I-5 through Everett. There are three overhead signs along I-5 designed to tell drivers how to reach the Pacific Avenue exit. The first sign is located one mile before the Pacific Ave exit, just past the off-ramp to 41st Street and Broadway.
The second sign for Pacific Ave is just past the on-ramp from 41st Street, about a one-third of a mile before the Pacific Avenue exit.
The third and final exit sign for Pacific is near the exit itself and tells the driver that the upcoming off-ramp leads to Pacific Avenue.
Given the close spacing between the Pacific Avenue and U.S. 2 off-ramps, the second sign combines the destinations for both Pacific Avenue and U.S. 2 into a single shared sign. We understand that the close spacing and combined message could be confusing for drivers, but we have limited space along I-5 to place multiple signs.
Having two separate exit signs in such close quarters could prove even more confusing, which is why we chose to combine the Pacific Avenue and U.S. 2 exit signs.
I-5 repaving project begins soon
For drivers who regularly feel their tires bounced back and forth by ruts in the pavement while traveling on I-5 from Marysville to Everett, relief is at hand.
The state on Monday plans to begin prep work on the repaving of southbound I-5 on this four-mile stretch. The actual paving is scheduled for July 11 to Aug. 1.
Crews working for the state Department of Transportation also plan to install six new traffic cameras and five miles of traffic sensors on both directions of I-5 between Fourth Street in Marysville and the Snohomish River Bridge in Everett.
The new cameras and sensors will fill a gap in the state's web cam system. Currently, the DOT's updated traffic conditions page has information as far north as Everett and from Marysville to Smokey Point, but not between Everett and Marysville.
As part of the $3.2 million project, crews also will update road signs, lighting and guardrails to meet new federal safety standards, and replace water drains on the Ebey Slough Bridge.
Some weeknight lane closures will be needed.
For more information, go to http://tinyurl.com/3j9dkeg.

Look for updates on our Street Smarts blog at www.heraldnet.com/streetsmarts.
E-mail us at stsmarts@heraldnet.com. Please include your city of residence.
Story tags » I-5Road RepairCommuting

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