By Eric Stevick Herald Writer
LAKE STEVENS — Drivers headed westbound on U.S. 2 over the Hewitt Avenue Trestle can expect three days of gnarly delays beginning Tuesday.
Maintenance crews from the state Department of Transportation will close one of two westbound lanes between Highway 204 and I-5 to patch the pavement. The work will be done each day from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. through Thursday.
It is a busy stretch. On a typical weekday around the noon hour, there are about 2,000 vehicles driving west. That’s around 800 more cars and trucks than the trestle was designed for.
In other words, take away a stretch of highway that already is above capacity and remove a lane. There’s bound to be slower traffic and longer backups.
Forty percent of the westbound trestle traffic comes from Highway 204, which is used heavily by people in Lake Stevens.
“There really is no good time for this closure,” said Bart Treece, a state transportation department spokesman. “This is kind of the best of the worst times to do it. It has to happen some time.”
Morning commuters will be spared most of the delays because the work is dependent on having surface temperatures of at least 70 degrees so the asphalt can properly bond to the road, Treece said.
While the work won’t necessarily result in a smoother ride, it will help prevent further deterioration until money for resurfacing becomes available, Treece said.
It is meant to be a temporary fix.
“We are squeezing as much life out of the surface as possible,” he said.
Treece recommends finding alternate routes, such as Highway 9.
Eric Stevick: 425-339-3446, firstname.lastname@example.org