Drivers face yet another obstacle

EVERETT – Drivers who travel on Broadway to avoid I-5 backups will face a new obstacle next week.

The portion of Broadway that runs beneath 41st Street will be closed from 9 p.m. Wednesday until 6 a.m. Thursday for safety reasons, I-5 expansion project spokeswoman Connie Lewis said.

“We don’t want concrete to fall on cars,” she said.

While the road is closed, workers will demolish the southern edge of the 41st Street overpass that runs above it. During that time, the span will remain open, but it will shrink from two eastbound lanes and one westbound lane to one lane in each direction.

Detour signs will be in place for drivers, Lewis said. The detours are expected to add about a minute to commutes.

At 6 a.m. Thursday, the road will return to normal until mid-May, when it will narrow slightly until fall.

Drivers will no longer be able to stay in the right lane to continue traveling south on Broadway. The road will narrow and hiccup slightly around orange construction barrels.

“It will cause slowdowns,” state Department of Transportation spokeswoman Victoria Tobin said. “People are used to hitting the gas to go straight onto the freeway, but instead they’ll have to merge at slower speeds.”

That change will remain in place until fall, when construction crews begin work on the north side of the 41st Street bridge above Broadway. Then the closures and lane narrowing will happen again.

The construction is part of the expansion of the 41st Street bridge over I-5. That overpass was closed and demolished this week. By fall, it will be rebuilt with seven lanes to accommodate what transportation engineers fondly refer to as a SPUI – a single-point urban interchange.

The part of 41st Street that runs across Broadway also needed to be widened to allow for the new interchange.

Reporter Krista J. Kapralos: 425-339-3422 or kkapralos@

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