Work begins Monday to add lanes to Highway 9 between Maltby Road, 176th Street SE

CLEARVIEW — The 20,000 drivers who commute daily on Highway 9 now have an extra challenge.

Widening of a stretch of the highway through Clearview is scheduled to begin today in earnest.

Bill Freese of Clearview Perennials, a plant grower, isn’t sure how running a business in a constru

ction zone for two years will play out.

“I don’t think it will have too much of an impact,” Freese said. “At least I hope so.”

A lot of preparation for the $24 million highway widening project, including the felling of trees, has been ongoing, but the first major road work starts this week, said Bronlea Mishler with the state Department of Transportation.

The project is sandwiched between two recently-widened sections of Highway 9. The two-lane, 3-mile stretch is awkwardly narrow, and is a source of congestion and frustration, Mishler said.

The work is set to add a lane in each direction of the highway between Maltby Road and 176th Street SE in Clearview. Maltby Road also is known as 212th Street SE or Highway 524.

In the long run, drivers should be happy with the widened, safer roadway, Mishler said.

The project is part of the state’s plan to improve Highway 9 through Snohomish County. Between 2004 and 2009, the stretch between Highway 9 and 176th Street had more than one vehicle collision a week.

Drivers can expect weeknight lane closures north of Maltby Road this week as crews begin clearing and excavating for the new lanes and building a new stormwater treatment pond.

Lane closures are expected to continue through October, before construction slows down for the winter months.

In addition to widening the highway, crews plan to install a raised median barrier to prevent crossover collisions and build nine U-turn locations to allow drivers to safely turn across the highway.

More information about the project, including links to frequently asked questions, can be found on the project website at tinyurl.com/WSDOTHighway9.

Gale Fiege: 425-339-3427; gfiege@heraldnet.com.

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