Lane closures set for Mukilteo Speedway

MUKILTEO – Just weeks after Mukilteo Speedway was widened in 2004, bus drivers started calling state transportation officials, complaining that the new storm drain covers seemed to be sinking.

The state Department of Transportation soon discovered that the rectangular hatches used to cover storm water drainpipes were bending, and that they posed a danger to drivers.

“They’re weren’t completely caving in, but they were starting to bend when vehicles drove over them,” said Travis Phelps, a Transportation Department spokesman.

The state quickly placed steel plates over 18 covers that showed signs of bending. Drivers have ridden over those plates ever since.

Next week the state will begin yanking out the bad hatches and replacing them with sturdier versions.

“The (hatches) we installed were not designed to handle the constant weight of vehicles driving over them,” Phelps said. “It was a design error.”

The project will cost $500,000 and involves nighttime lane closures that could last well into May, said Marlin Lenssen, the state’s project engineer.

The original project, which cost $15 million, widened the road to five lanes from Paine Field Boulevard to near Highway 99.

To make the repairs, the state plans to close lanes in both directions Sunday through Thursday nights until late May, Phelps said.

The closures, which are planned between Beverly-Edmonds Road and Chennault Beach Road, will start Sunday night. They are scheduled to start at 8 p.m. and end at 6 a.m. in the southbound direction and to end at 7 a.m. in the northbound direction.

Crews also plan to close Mukilteo Speedway’s intersection with Beverly-Edmonds Road from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m., and bus pullouts and right-turn lanes as needed.

Reporter Lukas Velush: 425-339-3449 or

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