I-5, Highway 529 and BNSF railroad bridges cross over Union Slough, as the main routes for traffic between Everett and Marysville, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)

I-5, Highway 529 and BNSF railroad bridges cross over Union Slough, as the main routes for traffic between Everett and Marysville, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)

Highway 529 to close for months between Everett, Marysville

North of Everett, repairs of the old bridges along Highway 529 will be in full swing by February.

Frequent travelers on Highway 529 between Everett and Marysville are in for some disruptions this year.

Highway 529 will see a number of closures and changes, including a four-month closure of the northbound Snohomish River Bridge in the spring. The bridge will be closed for repairs by the state Department of Transportation.

An exact start date for the four-month closure hasn’t been set. During the closure, both directions of traffic will be diverted to the southbound Snohomish River Bridge until the northbound bridge is reopened.

The East Marine View Drive on-ramp will be closed during the four-month closure.

Additionally, full weekend closures of part or all of Highway 529 will begin in early February for bridge repairs. Southbound Highway 529 will close from Marysville to Steamboat Slough bridge. That work begins on Friday, Feb. 2 at 11 p.m. and continues until 5 a.m. Monday, Feb. 5. It’s the first of three closures of that section of road.

During that time, southbound Highway 529 will be closed. Traffic moving south will be diverted to I-5.

Two, four-day full closures of northbound Steamboat Slough bridge are also slated for this year. Those dates have not been announced.

Orange lines on this map of Highway 529 between Everett and Marysville shows construction zones on the northbound Snohomish River Bridge and both directions on the Steamboat Slough Bridge.

Orange lines on this map of Highway 529 between Everett and Marysville shows construction zones on the northbound Snohomish River Bridge and both directions on the Steamboat Slough Bridge.

Highway 529 provides an alternative to I-5, especially during peak traffic hours. Bottlenecked traffic is common between Marysville and Everett. Lately, a $123 million project to add a high-occupancy vehicle lane and two new ramps has tightened traffic on I-5 in the area. Traffic control on that section of I-5 is expected to last until the spring.

During the repairs on Highway 529, the bridge will be left in an open position, state Department of Transportation spokesperson Tom Pearce said. This is both so boats can get through and crews can fix the bridge.

“If the waterway was in use before we built the bridge, the waterway has the right of way,” Pearce said. “To fix that bridge, we need to have it in the upright position sometimes.”

The projects include seismic retrofitting as well as repairs, rehabilitation, bridge painting and new concrete on the bridge deck.

A temporary “crossover” will be built north of the bridge to divert vehicles to the southbound Snohomish River bridge.

In June 2023, the speed limit on the southbound Steamboat Slough bridge was reduced to 25 mph. Lowering the speed limit reduces vibrations and lessens the wear on the bridge.

“They continue to wear, and that will just reduce the amount of wear they experience,” Pearce said.

The southbound Steamboat Slough bridge is 96 years old and was rebuilt in 1993. The northbound version was built in 1954, while the northbound Snohomish River bridge was built in 1927 and rebuilt in 1994.

Salty air, wind and rain have eaten away at the three bridges.

The Snohomish River and Steamboat Slough bridge projects are expected to cost $13.5 million and are part of a group of 17 projects to repair bridges around Everett, Marysville and Lake Stevens.

Jordan Hansen: 425-339-3046; jordan.hansen@heraldnet.com; Twitter: @jordyhansen.

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