I-5 bridge joint may give you a jolt, but it isn’t damaged

D. Glen Jackson of Marysville writes: I live in Marysville and travel I-5 every morning on the way to the Everett Boeing plant. As you are aware, there has been a lot of construction on I-5 through Everett.

My concern is a bridge expansion joint on I-5 as it passes over U.S. 2. This expansion joint has dropped. It has dropped far enough to jolt everyone as we drive across it on the way through there. It must be at least a few inches to jar my vehicle as much as it does.

Bronlea Mishler, a spokeswoman for the state Department of Transportation, responds: Our maintenance crews went out to the area and checked on the expansion joint. They found that, as Glen noticed, there is a small bump on southbound I-5 as it passes over the bridge that spans U.S. 2. Our crews determined that the expansion joint is not damaged, and we have no plans to grind down the area. Our bridge maintenance crews have limited funding for maintenance and repairs, and they focus on fixing bridge components that are damaged or broken. We will continue to monitor the area and, if needed, make any necessary repairs.

Margaret Bright of Lake Stevens writes: Is it possible to have a yield sign put in for southbound traffic on Highway 9 as they exit onto Highway 204 towards Everett? It is very difficult to try to get into the right hand lane of Highway 204 as I cross Highway 9 from Frontier Village. Also, many of those exiting off Highway 9 want to get into the left lane to turn left at the next light, and they just barrel their way over, half of them not even signaling.

Bronlea Mishler responds: We took a look at your situation and we understand why you’d like a little more time to get into that right lane. It’s a pretty quick lane change for you. However, it’s a pretty quick lane change for everyone in the area because it’s a very busy interchange.

Because there are more cars taking the southbound Highway 9 exit to westbound Highway 204 than there are crossing Highway 9 using Highway 204, we can’t justify a yield sign for the Highway 9 drivers.

The good news is that Highway 9 drivers have their own lane onto Highway 204 and Highway 204 drivers have their own lane west of Highway 9. One thing we can do is refresh the lane striping in the area, which should help drivers know when they should stay in their own lane and when it’s safe to move over. We plan to do that this spring when the weather warms up.

E-mail Street Smarts at stsmarts@heraldnet.com. Please include your city of residence.

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