Bridge work on I-5 will require weekend closures

Summer construction season is coming, and there are some updates on one of the key projects coming to Snohomish County.

Washington State Department of Transportation crews will replace 41 aging expansion joints on the I-5 Ebey Slough, Union Slough and Steamboat Slough bridges.

Twenty-seven of the smaller expansion joints will be replaced during overnight lane closures in August, September and October, spokesperson Kris Olsen said.

After that, there are 14 expansion joints that are much larger and will require closing multiple lanes on I-5 for full weekends. Closures would likely start on Friday night and reopen 5 a.m. Monday on select weekends between January and June 2016.

At least two lanes would remain open from about 5:30 a.m. to 11 p.m. or later Saturdays and Sundays on those weekends. Work would only occur in one direction at a time.

The estimated $6.75 million project is set to be advertised for competitive bidding in early May.

Alternate routes include Highway 529 and Highway 9.

Lane closures will be coordinated with the cities of Everett, Marysville and Arlington, Snohomish County, the Tulalip Tribes and Community Transit. Some of those agencies have projects of their own they’re working to complete, including Everett’s Broadway bridge replacement just north of Hewitt Avenue, and the Tulalip Tribes’ expansion of the I-5 and 116th Street NE interchange.

The new joints are expected to last up to 25 years, extending the useful life of the bridges while also improving safety.

Meanwhile, the state is moving ahead on replacing the Davis Slough bridge on Highway 532 between Stanwood and Camano Island. Crews expect to pour the concrete deck this week for the new southern half of the roadway. After a couple weeks of hardening and some added paving, the bridge will be ready for traffic. Crews will then turn to building the northern half atop the existing bridge.

And of course there are the finishing touches on the new I-405 express toll lanes coming from Lynnwood to Bellevue. The new lanes will replace existing high-occupancy vehicle lanes in the 17-mile stretch and bring a host of new requirements, including the opportunity for solo drivers to pay a toll to use the far-left lane. Tolling is expected to start this fall.

Have a question? Email us at streetsmarts@heraldnet.com. Please include your name and city of residence. Look for updates on our Street Smarts blog.

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