Traffic moves northbound on Interstate 5 through Everett on Friday. Some parts of I-5 North before 41st Street remain bumpy after work to replace concrete panels since October. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)

Traffic moves northbound on Interstate 5 through Everett on Friday. Some parts of I-5 North before 41st Street remain bumpy after work to replace concrete panels since October. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)

Grinding work still needed for I-5 through Everett

Construction crews need warmer temps for the work to remove what a reader described as “mini raised speed bumps.”

Usually when a road is redone, travelers expect the ride to be smoother.

That hasn’t been the case for Erik Wold of Mukilteo as he drove on I-5 north through Everett.

Crews contracted by the Washington State Department of Transportation have been replacing concrete panels and grinding down high spots from ruts on the northbound highway since October.

The hulking slabs are over 50 years old and were starting to show the decades of use. The project has a $7.9 million budget.

But even after 120 damaged panels were replaced, the road’s condition hasn’t improved in every spot. Another 30 panels await being removed and rebuilt.

“I can only imagine that you have had other complaints about the poor quality of the resurface project on I-5 northbound about a quarter to half mile south of 41st (Street),” Wold wrote to The Daily Herald. “Such a poor job. New panels feel like mini raised speed bumps.”

Indeed some parts of the highway can feel like traveling by wagon on the Oregon Trail (or what one might imagine that to have felt like).

The critique didn’t surprise WSDOT staff.

“Yes, we understand why your reader feels like it’s driving over mini speed bumps,” WSDOT spokesperson Kurt Batdorf wrote in an email. “Our contractor is still replacing broken concrete panels on northbound I-5 between Lowell Road and Marine View Drive.”

Acme Concrete Paving, the company working on the highway, still has to grind the new panels’ surfaces so they’re even with adjacent panels, Batdorf wrote. All of the work in this project requires temperatures above 32 degrees, which makes tackling it in winter a moving target.

Some of that work is scheduled between 8 p.m. and 6 a.m. weeknights through Dec. 15, as weather allows. At least one lane will be open between Lowell Road and Marine View Drive during the overnight work.

Another overnight stint is scheduled for Dec. 11. There will not be work Dec. 2, 3, 9 and 10.

Early next year crews are set to replace bridge expansion joints over Hewitt Avenue, Smith Avenue, Pacific Avenue and U.S. 2.

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