Vehicles travel along Highway 9, just south of 84th Street NE on Friday near Marysville. Parts of the road are damaged and need emergency repairs. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)

Vehicles travel along Highway 9, just south of 84th Street NE on Friday near Marysville. Parts of the road are damaged and need emergency repairs. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)

Rough and rumbly section of Highway 9 set for emergency repairs

The road between Arlington and Lake Stevens has cracks and potholes. An emergency repairs contract is in the works.

Winter storms appear to have taken their toll on Highway 9.

Damage on the road between Lake Stevens and Arlington was visible on a recent drive after a reader’s email.

“It is breaking up so badly and being patched by (the Washington State Department of Transportation), which is not fixing the problem,” Tim King wrote.

Cracks looked freshly sealed in stretches and potholes appeared in some spots between 84th Street NE and 132nd Street NE. The segment is about 3½ miles.

Closer to the roundabout at 172nd Street NE, which doubles as Highway 531, the road appeared to be in good condition.

Staff with the state Department of Transportation know about the problems there. They aren’t the only spots that need work across the region after a year that saw a historic heat wave last summer and prolonged freezing temperatures in a storm this winter.

“We are hopeful to start permanent repairs across the region, including this section, later this year,” a spokesperson for WSDOT’s Northwest Region office said in an email. “In the meantime, crews are continuing to make temporary repairs as resources and weather permits.”

The section of Highway 9 that King wrote to The Daily Herald about is included in an emergency repairs contract being drafted by WSDOT staff. Questions about the timeline and estimated cost for that work were not returned in time for this story.

The area has steadily seen traffic increase over the years as housing and employment grew.

Highway 9 averaged 21,000 vehicles a day at Highway 92 in 2020, according to DOT data. North of that intersection the average declines to 17,000 at 84th Street NE, 12,000 at 132nd Street NE, and 9,300 at Highway 531.

Those numbers are likely to rise as Snohomish County’s population is projected to increase by over 300,000 residents by 2044.

The Cascade Industrial Center between Arlington and Marysville on either side of Highway 531 is one reason. Businesses there are projected to add over 10,000 daily trips on neighboring roads.

Amazon, one of the major employers set to open this summer in a five-story, 635,000-square-foot fulfillment center, has parking for 1,250 cars and 314 trucks. The online retail behemoth was estimated to add 4,000 to 4,500 daily trips.

WSDOT’s two-year budget through 2023 includes $520.2 million for highway maintenance operations and $848.7 million for preservation.

For now, drivers like King will have to hope the temporary fixes over cracks and potholes hold until the state’s contractor crews get out later this year.

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