I-5 bridge work at Stilly could cause traffic headaches

ARLINGTON — One of the two bridge spans carrying I-5 over the Stillaguamish River will close next week for the next four months.

Work crews are replacing the 607-foot-long deck and some of the support beams of the southbound bridge.

Traffic in both directions will be reduced to two lanes approaching the bridge, and the speed limit reduced to 55 mph in both directions.

By the time the morning commute begins Tuesday, southbound traffic will be directed across the median onto the northbound bridge, which will be divided to handle both directions of traffic.

Starting overnight Monday, southbound I-5 will be reduced to one lane until about 5 a.m. while road crews stripe the highway and paint lane dividers on the temporary crossover. The road will expand to handle two lanes once the striping is done.

The work schedule may change if it rains.

“We have to stripe the highway and if there’s any moisture on the highway we can’t do that,” said Tom Pearce, spokesman for the state Department of Transportation.

The southbound bridge was built in 1933 and has only been refurbished once in its 81-year lifespan. Built to carry old Highway 99 across the river, it now carries up to 50,000 vehicles each day during the summer months.

Mowat Construction Co., based in Woodinville, was awarded the $8.7 million contract for the project, with most of the money coming from federal bridge preservations funds.

Traffic is expected to be disrupted for the duration of the 120-day work period.

“The key message we’re trying to get out right now is the traffic: Avoid traveling at peak hours if possible,” Pearce said.

The heaviest traffic volumes are from 11 a.m.-6 p.m. on the weekends in the southbound lanes, and in the northbound lanes from 3-6 p.m. Thursdays and Fridays and 11 a.m.-4 p.m. on the weekends.

Local traffic is encouraged to bypass the bridge if possible: using Pioneer Highway to get to and from Stanwood from the south, or Smokey Point Boulevard and Highway 9 to get to Arlington.

Updates to the project are posted on the transporation department’s web page: wsdot.wa.gov/projects/i5/stillaguamishbridgerehab.

The State Patrol is monitoring speeds through the work zone, Pearce said. In addition, the 55 m.p.h. limit in the southbound lanes extends all the way to Smokey Point Boulevard.

Chris Winters: 425-374-4165 or cwinters@heraldnet.com.

More in Local News

Residents are helping turn Casino Road in a new direction

An initiative backed by a $700,000 grant goes to the community for solutions to the area’s challenges.

Live in Edmonds? Hate speeders?

Edmonds has $35,000 to address local residents’ concerns about speeding in their… Continue reading

Marysville quits fire-department merger talks

Mayor Jon Nehring notified Arlington of the decision in a letter dated Jan. 10.

Everett marchers: ‘There’s too much to protest’ for one sign

About 150 people joined the “March to Impeach” from the waterfront to a county courthouse rally.

Legislation to limit opioid prescriptions under debate

Inslee also has requested a bill that prioritizes medication-assisted treatment for addiction.

Sirens! Flashing lights! — Move over!

We are a confident bunch on what to do when we hear… Continue reading

Herald photos of the week

A weekly collection of The Herald’s top images by staff photographers and… Continue reading

Judge: Lawmakers’ emails, texts subject to public disclosure

News organizations had sued to challenge the Legislature’s claim that members were exempt.

Hunter Standley, 6, scoots backward into a cozy cubbyhole in Wee Fit’s sensory room while holding an artificial aquarium. Hunter, who has autism, is with his mom, Breanna Standley, 25, and his grandmother, Barbara Bambrick, 63. They are all from Tulalip. (Dan Bates / The Herald)
Family sets feast for the senses

Wee Fit is a new sensory play space in Everett for children on the autism spectrum.

Most Read