On U.S. 2 between Bickford Avenue near Snohomish and Monroe, crews completed a majority of the paving this year. Medians were installed between eastbound and westbound lanes along that same stretch. (Kevin Clark / Herald file)

On U.S. 2 between Bickford Avenue near Snohomish and Monroe, crews completed a majority of the paving this year. Medians were installed between eastbound and westbound lanes along that same stretch. (Kevin Clark / Herald file)

Highway projects wrapping up; some will carry over to 2020

Also: An update on Highway 99 tolling, and expect to see more electric buses in Everett.

As temperatures drop and rainy skies move in, WSDOT is wrapping up several projects in Snohomish County for the year.

U.S. 2

On the highway between Bickford and Monroe, crews completed a majority of the paving this year. And added medians between eastbound and westbound lanes, according to Frances Fedoriska, a spokesperson for WSDOT.

Recently workers installed rumblestrips and reflective centerline markers, work that will continue as weather permits.

Before the project is suspended for the year, crews hope to fill in the trenches along the shoulder of the westbound lanes and make pavement repairs in the eastbound lanes.

A handful of overnight lane reductions and ramp closures could occur before work stops for the year.

The two-year project will carry over to 2020, when WSDOT plans to replace two expansion joints on the nearly 40-year-old Pilchuck River Bridge. The bridge’s roadway will also be resurfaced. This work will require the bridge to be reduced to a single lane for one weekend next year.

Also on tap for next year for the roadway, between Bickford Avenue to just west of the Pilchuck River Bridge, is the addition of a physical median barrier. It will go where the 6-foot median now exists, Fedoriska said.

Further east, WSDOT completed resurfacing work on U.S. 2 between Index and Skykomish this year. Laying down permanent striping is expected to be finished this year, though the work is weather dependent.

Median barriers between eastbound and westbound lanes, as seen here Jan. 8 from the Highway 9 overpass, were installed along a stretch of U.S. 2 from Bickford Avenue near Snohomish to Monroe. (Kevin Clark / Herald file)

Median barriers between eastbound and westbound lanes, as seen here Jan. 8 from the Highway 9 overpass, were installed along a stretch of U.S. 2 from Bickford Avenue near Snohomish to Monroe. (Kevin Clark / Herald file)

Highway 9 roundabout

WSDOT aimed for two, but only was able to schedule one weekend closure this year to add the long-awaited roundabout at Highway 9 and 108th Street NE near Marysville.

“The project is suspended for the winter because contractor crews can’t pave in the cooler, wetter weather,” Fedoriska said.

This year crews prepared the site, reducing the height of the hill on 108th and widening all four corners of the intersection. The project will resume next year, Fedoriska said, requiring one weekend closure to install the roundabout.

Highway 99

Heads up to all drivers who use the new Highway 99 tunnel to bypass downtown Seattle. After a slight delay, travelers will be tolled starting on Nov. 9. To use the 2-mile long double-decker tunnel will cost between $3.00 and $4.25 depending on the time and day.

Drivers will save $2 if they use a Good to Go! pass, dropping the cost to $1.00 to $2.25. The account automatically deducts the toll rather than sending a bill in the mail. The pass, which adheres to your windshield, can be purchased at www.wsdot.wa.gov/GoodToGo or at participating Fred Meyer and QFC stores.

Craig Jacobsen, a technician at Everett Transit, demonstrates the charging process for the new electric buses. The new system takes about four hours to charge the batteries. (Lizz Giordano / The Herald)

Craig Jacobsen, a technician at Everett Transit, demonstrates the charging process for the new electric buses. The new system takes about four hours to charge the batteries. (Lizz Giordano / The Herald)

Electric buses

In other news, Everett Transit was awarded $3.1 million in Volkswagen settlement money from the state Department of Ecology. Combining those funds with federal grants, the transit agency plans on purchasing 11 electric buses over the next three years. This would convert half the fleet to zero-emissions vehicles.

Each bus costs about $1 million.

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