State crews don’t kid around when drying roads for work

For anyone who might be curious, that wasn’t a giant vacuum cleaner moving down Highway 9 in Clearview last week.

It was a jet engine, mounted on a trailer, being used to blow hot air onto wet pavement.

State crews broke out the modified Westinghouse J-34 turbine jet engine between 176th Street SE and 180th to dry the roadway so new asphalt could be laid down.

The work may be seen on a video at http://tinyurl.com/pcgjeom. Warning: it’s loud.

A similar engine has been used at Paine Field to melt snow and ice off the runway.

The state is widening more than two miles of Highway 9 from Highway 524 north of Bothell to 176th Street SE in Clearview. The $59.1 million project also includes new U-turn locations, and more signs, lights and guardrails. Work has been going on for two years and is expected to be done in the spring.

For more information, go to http://tinyurl.com/o58ujmo.

Closures on Bickford

From today to Friday the eastbound U.S. 2 ramp to Bickford Avenue is scheduled be closed from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. for drainage work.

Starting at 7 a.m. Wednesday and running through 3 p.m. Friday the left-turn-straight-through lane at the top of the ramp will be closed around the clock. Drivers will only be able to turn right onto Bickford. Anyone needing to go left or straight will likely get there faster by exiting U.S. 2 at Highway 9.

For more information visit http://tinyurl.com/ntugjlq.

State wins award

The state Department of Transportation was recently recognized for work to get large trucks with unsafe brakes off the road.

In a joint project with the State Patrol, the transportation department has installed infrared cameras in the pavement at the entrance to weigh stations to scan and analyze undercarriages of all entering big rigs.

The system displays the results on a monitor in the weigh station and the attendant uses the information to determine if the vehicle needs closer inspection. Hot or warm brakes — which are good — show a reddish color while colder brakes are blue. Trucks with problems such as leaking brake fluid and rust on brake drums are ordered out of service until they’re fixed.

The Roadway Safety Foundation and the Federal Highway Administration bestowed safety awards on the transportation department and the State Patrol for the project.

For more information go to http://tinyurl.com/nszdgq8.

E-mail us at streetsmarts@heraldnet.com. Please include your city of residence.

Look for updates on our Street Smarts blog at www.heraldnet.com/streetsmarts.

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