No simple fixes for Highway 204 merge to U.S. 2 trestle

Pat Forster of Lake Stevens wrote in after slogging through “another big tie-up” one recent morning at the merge of Highway 204 to the U.S. 2 westbound trestle. “We need a stop-and-go light like on I-5 entries at the merge point! Too many 204 merge peeps just keep butting in and DON’T YIELD. A stop-and-go light will help a lot!”

It sounded like a great idea, but…

Tom Pearce of the Washington State Department of Transportation responds: “We understand drivers’ frustration with the westbound merge of U.S. 2 and State Route 204 at the east end of the trestle. Drivers are experiencing increased congestion because the trestle simply doesn’t have the capacity for the growing traffic volume. In fact, the volume in that area is so great at peak hours that ramp-metering lights would only make the problem worse. If we added ramp meters at the U.S. 2 ramps from SR 204 and 20th Street SE, traffic would back up even more on both approaches.

“The only real way to fix the issue would be to widen the trestle,” Pearce said. “However, there is no funding available for that, so there are no plans to widen it at this time.”

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