New roadwork will focus on two Snohomish County highways

New road projects worth $106.6 million are about to start around Snohomish County with most of the work focusing on improving Highway 9 and U.S. 2.

Eight key projects are set to begin in the county over the next few months as the construction season starts. Six of them aim to ease congestion and improve safety along the two highways in southeastern parts of the county.

“One of the best ways to stop accidents is to deal with congestion,” said Rep. Dan Kristiansen, R-Snohomish, who sits on the House Transportation Committee. “More accidents happen on narrow, winding roads.”

Crews are expected to widen about 1.5 miles of Highway 9 from two to four lanes between Highway 96 north to Marsh Road just east of Mill Creek, according to the state Department of Transportation. The $53.4 million project could be complete by spring 2010.

Another new project is about to start on Highway 9 near Lake Stevens. Snohomish County plans to widen the highway to four lanes from two and add three new traffic signals between S. Lake Stevens Road and 20th Street SE. The $30.5 million project, funded by the state and the county, is to wrap up in late 2009, said Max Phan, a public works supervisor for the county.

“It’s both for safety and congestion relief,” Phan said.

Crews are about to begin grinding centerline rumble strips and adding new striping along a 40-mile segment of U.S. 2 between east of Monroe and Stevens Pass. The divots in the middle of the highway are expected to be completed this summer. The $4 million work aims to prevent crossover crashes along the narrow, winding highway.

“Obviously, there are safety concerns with U.S. 2,” said Aurora Jones, a spokeswoman for the state Department of Transportation.

The state also plans to spend $1.2 million installing guardrails along parts of U.S. 2 and removing dangerous objects such as tree stumps and boulders from the side of the road.

In the summer, workers plan to install a permanent wall to stabilize the slope along U.S. 2 near Index. After the Election Day flood in November 2006, the slope sank and took out a part of the highway. The state had pounded 66 large rods into the slope in early 2007 as a temporary fix.

At another spot along the highway, the state plans to stabilize the hillside and install a drainage system as well.

Improvements for U.S. 2 are long overdue, Kristiansen said. Overall improvements for the highway would cost about $2 billion.

U.S. 2 is finally getting long overdue work, he said.

In 2008, some ongoing projects are set to wrap up in Snohomish County. For instance, the I-5 Everett widening project is scheduled to be complete this summer. The $263 million project is considered the third most expensive highway project in the state’s history.

The 2008 construction season is expected to be slow, with more major projects set to begin over the next few years, Jones said. In 2009, the state plans to start projects worth $80 million for Highway 532 in Stanwood.

“It will be sort of the calm before a storm,” she said.

Reporter Yoshiaki Nohara: 425-339-3029 or

Talk to us

More in Local News

William Talbott II pleads his innocence before a judge sentences him to life with out parole at the Snohomish County Courthouse on Wednesday, July 24, 2019 in Everett, Wash. A Snohomish County judge sentenced William Talbott II to life in prison without parole, for murdering a young Canadian couple in 1987. (Andy Bronson / The Herald)
Cold-case murder conviction reversed due to juror’s bias

William Talbott, the world’s first convicted forensic genealogy defendant, was accused of killing a young Canadian couple in 1987.

Dr Chris Spitters (center), Interim Health Officer, makes makes his address Monday evening during a Special Meeting of the Snohomish Health District Board of Health at the Administration Builiding in Everett on March 2, 2020.  (Kevin Clark / The Herald)
Chris Spitters, Snohomish County’s chief health officer, to step down

The physician who has been the official voice of the pandemic here says his departure is not work-related.

Man identified after fatal fall from Arlington cell tower

Michael Vasquez, 24, of Las Vegas, fell about 140 feet while working Saturday afternoon.

Carpenters from America and Switzerland build the first "modular home" made from cross-laminated timber, inside a warehouse on Marine View Drive on Tuesday, Nov. 30, 2021 in Everett, Washington.  (Andy Bronson / The Herald)
Affordable housing’s future? Innovative home built in Everett

Swiss and American carpenters built the nation’s first “modular home” made of cross-laminated timber.

Houses at the end of the 2100 block of 93rd Drive SE in Lake Stevens used to front a forest. Now the property has been clearcut to make way for a new Costco store near the intersection of Highway 9 and 20th Street SE. (Chuck Taylor / The Herald)
Lake Stevens councilmember says he profited off Costco deal

Until now, Marcus Tageant would not confirm his role in the multimillion-dollar sale of acreage that is soon to be a Costco.

Police: Student, 13, falsely accused classmate of making threat

The student alleged the classmate called to say there would be a shooting at Hidden River Middle School.

John Lovick
State Rep. Lovick gets nod for state Senate

After Legislative District 44 Democrats nominated him, his House seat opened for party jockeying.

Brian Loomis and Michelle Moch browse for a live Christmas tree from Adopt A Stream on Tuesday, Dec. 7, 2021 in Everett, Wa. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
These holiday trees can liven a salmon’s home as well as your own

Adopt A Stream Foundation is selling native trees. Return them after the holidays, and they’ll become critical fish habitat.

Lake Stevens resident Rick Trout shows a Feb. 2020 photo of the rising lake level in front of his home after a storm. (Isabella Breda / The Herald)
Some Lake Stevens homeowners now must buy flood insurance

Updated FEMA maps show some lakeside homes now sit in a designated flood hazard area, due to a warming climate.

Most Read