Looking east toward the U.S. 2 trestle as cars begin to backup in March 2018 (Andy Bronson / The Herald)

Looking east toward the U.S. 2 trestle as cars begin to backup in March 2018 (Andy Bronson / The Herald)

Getting work done on U.S. 2 trestle is proving tricky

Road crews need not only dry conditions, but for overnight temperatures to not dip too low.

EVERETT — Too cold, too rainy; the weather isn’t cooperating with the state Department of Transportation for work on the U.S. 2 trestle.

With cool overnight lows and wet conditions predicted, the agency is once again postponing the job that was planned for this weekend.

“This structure is right in the convergence zone, so it’s hard to get those warm, dry conditions for long stretches,” said Frances Fedoriska, a spokesperson for WSDOT.

WSDOT began the preservation job last year on the roadway that connects Lake Stevens and Everett. The agency needed six weekend closures to finish, but the weather didn’t hold. In 2018, crews only squeezed in four. During that time, they completed work on the trestle’s eastbound lanes, which are newer and made of concrete.

The westbound lanes need more extensive rehabilitation. Up to two more weekend closures are needed to complete the job. This includes removing the old asphalt, inspecting and repairing the trestle, laying down a waterproof barrier and repaving the road.

Dry weather is needed to ensure the waterproof layer adheres properly. And as a general rule, WSDOT wants the temperature to be 80 degrees or above during the day and overnight lows to not dip below 60. This aids in the removal of the roadway.

“The warmer the asphalt is, the easier it is to scrape up,” Fedoriska said.

The work also was postponed several times last year. The first weekend closure didn’t happen until mid-July.

The first weekend closure is now scheduled to start 7 p.m. Friday, July 19 and last until 4 a.m. Monday, July 22 — that is if rains stay away and overnight lows remain high enough.

On average, during non-holiday summer weekends, 2,600 drivers cross the trestle each hour, according to Fedoriska.

Transportation officials are warning that the work could create significant delays as drivers take detours and find alternative routes.

Lizz Giordano: 425-374-4165; egiordano@heraldnet.com; Twitter: @lizzgior.

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