By Bill Sheets Herald Writer
LAKE STEVENS — Drivers will face closures and detours on Highway 9 as two new improvements are put in place in Lake Stevens and Clearview.
Those two sections of highway are scheduled to be closed much of this weekend for roadwork.
The junction of Highway 9 and Highway 92 in Lake Stevens is planned to be closed from 10 p.m. Friday to 7:30 a.m. Sunday so crews can finish expanding the intersection.
Near Clearview, crews working to widen a two-mile stretch of Highway 9 are scheduled to close the highway from 9 p.m. Friday to 2 a.m. Sunday to dig out a section of roadway and install a new culvert.
The projects are among several along Highway 9 from the Snohomish-King County line to Arlington to be financed with money from a 2005 gas-tax increase. Other improvements along the highway have included widening in congested areas, such as at Marsh Road near Snohomish, near Lundeen Parkway in Lake Stevens and the current project in Clearview.
The 9.5 cents-per-gallon tax hike was phased in from 2005 to 2009, bringing the state’s total gas tax to 37.5 cents per gallon. About $5.5 billion was raised statewide.
Of that, about $350 million was budgeted for projects along Highway 9. Cost savings have brought the price tag down to about $325 million, said Meghan Pembroke, a spokeswoman for the state Department of Transportation.
Most of that money has already been spent, she said; only a few small projects remain.
“The majority of the widening has been done, though I’m sure people will tell you there are areas that need more work,” Pembroke said.
Some other tight spots are being studied for improvements, such as the junction of Highway 9 and Highway 204 at Frontier Village in Lake Stevens, and the Snohomish River Bridge in Snohomish, she said. There’s currently no funding for construction at either location.
In Clearview, the state is spending about $66 million to widen more than two miles of Highway 9 from Highway 524 north of Bothell to 176th Street SE in Clearview. The road will be expanded from its current two lanes to a four-lane divided highway. The work on this section began last year and is scheduled to be finished in the fall of 2013.
This weekend, drivers can still reach nearby homes and businesses, but those headed north or south through the area will have to follow a detour on Maltby Road, the Bothell-Everett Highway and 180th Street SE.
The Lake Stevens work comes on the heels of the $22.5 million widening of Highway 9 from Lundeen Parkway to Highway 92 last year.
Two lanes are being added to southbound Highway 9; one through lane and one left turn lane. This brings the total to four — two left-turn lanes and two through lanes.
A new left turn lane is being added to westbound Highway 92, for a total of three: one right turn lane and two left-turn lanes. The highway currently ends at the intersection.
Tom Gallagher, who lives in Lake Stevens, said he drives through the intersection every day.
“From what I have seen so far it looks like the changes they are making should make for a good fit,” he said, though he’s concerned about traffic from a Walmart store being built on 64th Street NE in Marysville, scheduled to be completed this winter.
City public works director Kevin Nielsen said Wal-Mart is spending more than $6 million for new turn lanes on Highway 9 at 64th and new lanes on 64th.
The city of Marysville is putting up most of the money for the $5.6 million intersection project at Highways 9 and 92 — $4.5 million compared to $1.1 million for the state. This is because the state extended the highway widening north of Soper Hill Road at Marysville’s request, Nielsen said.
A wide painted median also is being added to Highway 92 near Highway 9 that can eventually be converted to lanes if and when a new road is built to meet the intersection from the west.
The city of Marysville has plans for new roads in the Sunnyside and Whiskey Ridge areas, one of which could connect with Highway 92. No funding is available, however.
This weekend, crews plan to pave, paint lane markings and install guardrail at the intersection. Drivers can detour around the work on E. Sunnyside School Road, 83rd Avenue NE and Soper Hill Road, or on the east side of Highway 9 via 42nd Street NE, S. Lake Cassidy Road and Lundeen Parkway.
Also this weekend
Closures on Highway 9 are among several events in the region that could mean headaches for drivers this weekend.
The Highway 520 floating bridge will be closed from 11 p.m. Friday to 5 a.m. Monday for demolition of an overpass in Bellevue. Also, the Seattle Seahawks kick off their preseason schedule at 7 p.m. Saturday.
For more information, go to http://tinyurl.com/br686nw.
Bill Sheets: 425-339-3439; firstname.lastname@example.org.