Highway 529 span due for summer repair work

EVERETT — Major repairs are scheduled for a Highway 529 bridge this summer, but commuters between Marysville and Everett shouldn’t panic.

The maintenance project isn’t expected to create the nightmarish traffic that paralyzed downtown Everett during afternoon rush hour traffic Dec. 3 when the northbound bridge was closed for emergency repairs. Nor is traffic likely to repeat the summer of 2001, when northbound Highway 529 was closed for construction for weeks while work was being done on U.S. 2 at the same time. It regularly took people hours to get out of north Everett during the evening commute.

There are two bridges across the mainstem Snohomish River: one built in 1927 carries traffic heading north from Everett to Marysville; the other, erected in 1954, heads southbound from Marysville to Everett.

It is the two-lane southbound span that needs the work, state Department of Transportation spokesman Bart Treece said.

“We want to get it done as soon as possible,” Treece said. “It’ll depend on when they can get parts made.”

Cracks were discovered in the machinery that lifts the bridge deck up and lowers it down. The cracks are still small and don’t pose a serious threat for now, according to Transportation Department reports. The moveable parts must be specially built.

The same work was done on the northbound bridge six years ago.

Construction is scheduled for the summer, but firm dates haven’t been set.

The contract allows up to four weekend closures that would occur from 8 p.m. Fridays to 5 a.m. Mondays as well as up to 10 week night closures.

“It’s going to have some impact to regular users,” Treece said.

The total project cost is $4.1 million. A $1.7 million construction bid was awarded to PCL Civil Constructors in 2012. More than $4 million of the project cost comes from federal funds.

Eric Stevick: 425-339-3446; stevick@heraldnet.com.

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