One last ‘squeeze’ for I-5 northbound

MARYSVILLE — Prepare yourself for a final squeeze.

For the uninitiated, that would be the “Snohomish County Squeeze.” The construction project to replace aging I-5 expansion joints has caused a series of weekend traffic tie-ups between Everett and Marysville.

State contractors have been at work since March. They narrowed the northbound freeway to two lanes Friday and expect to reopen them for good by Monday morning.

“We are wrapping up the largest expansion joint project we’ve had in Snohomish County,” WSDOT project engineer Mark Sawyer said in a news release. “The Union, Steamboat, and Ebey Slough bridges have brand-new expansion joints, keeping drivers and the bridges safe for decades to come.”

Expansion joints are made of steel bars and rubber seals which allow bridges to flex with changing traffic volumes and weather. The ones being replaced on the Ebey and Steamboat slough bridges are up to 30 years old.

“It should smooth out the road quite a bit,” Sawyer said. “You’ll have a little bit of a bump; that’s better than it was.”

The current project is replacing 41 joints at a cost of $5.3 million. Crews expect to install the last four of those joints this weekend. They’re unable to do the work during standard overnight closures because the new concrete needs 12 hours to cure, Sawyer said.

Along with restricting northbound I-5 traffic, crews also expects to close the onramp to Highway 529 until Monday morning.

The state also warned of significant traffic backups on Highway 9 as well as on city streets in Everett and Marysville.

Noah Haglund: 425-339-3465; Twitter: @NWhaglund.

Resources for drivers

WSDOT mobile app:

WSDOT on Twitter: @wsdot_traffic will provide updates about the project using the hashtag #snocosqueeze.

The What’s Happening Now page chronicles closures and issues affecting travelers:

Commute and travel choices:

More in Local News

Will Boy Scout bankruptcy sweep abuse cases under the rug?

38 scouting officials in Washington were known to be a danger to kids, including one in Everett.

Separate suspected DUI, hit-and-run crashes hospitalize 4

Emergency responders were busy Saturday night after three collisions across Lynnwood.

After misconduct, new oversight comes to CASA court program

Child advocates lied, spied and destroyed evidence. Now, the program has been renamed and revamped.

Girlfriend on trial in 2 torture-murders in Snohomish County

Lendsay Meza’s boyfriend is serving life in prison for two horrific killings. She’s accused of helping.

Charge: Lynnwood tobacco smuggler dodged $1 million in taxes

The man, 57, reportedly dealt in illicit cigarettes. Tax returns claimed he sold hats and T-shirts.

‘Sexually violent predator’ won’t be living on Whidbey Island

After 20 years on McNeil Island, Curtis Brogi wanted to move to Oak Harbor. He’ll end up in Tacoma.

Front Porch

EVENTS Camano blood drive Bloodworks Northwest is scheduled to set up a… Continue reading

Crime is down, but Everett hopes to hire 24 more officers

There’s still a sense residents “don’t feel safe,” the mayor says, and police are busier than ever.

Bill would require kids’ menus to offer healthy beverages

Children would still be able to order a soda for their meal, but healthier choices would be the default.

Most Read