STANWOOD — Get ready for some bad traffic.
Part of Highway 532 is set to shut down tonight and remain closed through Sunday. A detour will take drivers on a slow little trip through part of the city.
Repairs are scheduled on the deck of the 700-foot bridge over the Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway tracks and Florence Road. Crews plan to close the highway from 7 tonight through 5 a.m. Monday between Pioneer Highway and 88th Avenue NW. Police officers are scheduled to direct drivers around the closure.
The 50-year-old bridge carries about 20,000 drivers a day. While state Department of Transportation officials expect the detour to run smoothly, delays are likely.
People headed west to Camano Island can expect slowdowns of 15 minutes on Saturday morning, increasing to 30 minutes around noon and peaking with hourlong delays and backups about 4 p.m. Delays are expected to continue into the evening, but transportation officials anticipate reduced congestion by about 10 p.m. Drivers headed eastbound toward I-5 can expect delays of about 15 minutes or less throughout Saturday.
On Sunday, westbound drivers can expect delays similar to Saturday’s. Eastbound drivers should anticipate longer delays, increasing as the day goes on. After about 7 p.m., congestion should decrease in both directions, officials said.
The railroad bridge deck is worn through in several locations, creating a rough surface for drivers and exposing the bridge structure below. Crews plan to remove the top of the bridge deck, replace and repair worn expansion joints and repave the deck.
The work on the bridge over the railroad tracks is part of a project designed to improve safety along the 10-mile stretch of the highway between I-5 and Camano Island. The entire project is expected to be completed by spring 2011.
More than 4,000 fliers about the closure were distributed throughout the Stanwood area and Camano Island, transportation spokesman Dave Chesson said.
“Crews will be working to get a lot done this weekend,” Chesson said. “People will want to stay informed about delays.”
City administrator Joyce Papke agreed.
“I think (the Department of Transportation has) done a great job in trying to alert folks as to what’s coming,” Papke said. “That said, there will undoubtedly be a number of people who are surprised by different phases of the overall project, including the railroad bridge closure this weekend. And whether they know about the closure in advance or not, folks will definitely be inconvenienced. There’s no doubt about that.”
Gale Fiege: 425-339; firstname.lastname@example.org.
To learn more
To subscribe to e-mail updates on Highway 532 traffic, go to www.wsdot.wa.gov/emailupdates. Information also is available at www.wsdot.wa.gov/projects/sr532, by tuning to 1520 AM on the radio in Stanwood or by calling a hotline, 360-631-3887, with questions or concerns. For noise complaints during the weekend, call 206-786-2287. People can also go to www.wsdot.wa.gov/construction/2009/today for updates and can use Twitter at http://twitter.com/wsdot_traffic.