State launches $39M in local road projects with U.S. 2 paving

Eight miles of well-worn pavement on U.S. 2 between Sultan and Gold Bar will be resurfaced this summer.

“It has been about 15 years since this section of U.S. 2 was paved, and it shows,” said Mark Sawyer, a project engineer for the Washington State Department of Transportation. “We’re looking forward to getting rid of the cracks and potholes in the road, and drivers will like the smoother ride.”

Contractor Lakeside Industries kicks off the $4 million project Monday, starting with upgrades to pedestrian crossings to bring them up to current federal standards.

Paving and road repairs should start during the second week of May. During paving, drivers should expect single-lane closures from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. Sundays through Thursdays.

The job is expected to wrap up in October.

The work area is from mile post 21, just west of Fern Bluff Road west of Sultan, to near 10th Street in Gold Bar.

About 18,000 vehicles use the corridor daily. About 12.5 percent of that is truck traffic, which shows in the number of cracks, ruts and potholes.

More work coming

The U.S. 2 project is the first of more than $39 million worth of projects the state plans for Snohomish County highways this year.

Warm weather is here, so work plans are ramping up. Roads will be paved. Cracks sealed. Bridges painted. Fish passages opened up.

Here’s what’s coming up:

Paving on I-5 from Ebey Slough Bridge to the Highway 531 interchange, $9.7 million

Painting the Steamboat Slough Bridge on northbound Highway 529, $7.6 million

Improving fish passage on Highway 531 over Edgecomb Creek, $3 million

Intersection improvements at Highway 525 and Alderwood Mall Parkway, $1.3 million

Paving on Highway 528 from 55th Drive NE to 83rd Avenue NE, $2.4 million

Paving and expansion joint work on Highway 526 from Fifth Avenue W to I-5, $3.6 million

Paving on Highway 96, from the interchange with I-5 to Highway 9, $7.6 million

Expect lane closures, backups and assorted traffic headaches while some of these projects are going on. We’ll cover some of these projects in future stories. In the meantime, you can find links to state project webpages with this story at

I-5 is showing its age

Not on the local project list, but certainly of interest to many locals …

It’s been 50 years since I-5 was built, and a 22-mile stretch of it is getting a facelift.

The Washington State Department of Transportation is starting what it calls an “ambitious” restoration project that will take up fair-weather nights over the next three years. Yep, three years.

Contractor crews will fix worn expansion joints, broken concrete panels, deep ruts and other problems.

The work area stretches from Kent to Seattle. More than 200,000 vehicles use that stretch of I-5 daily — and plenty of them are bound to be from Snohomish County.

Work started April 17 in south King County. Later this year, contractor crews will work in Seattle. So far the work is on the northbound side.

Much of the work will be done at night to minimize disruptions. But weekend-long lane closures are expected for as many as 26 weekends, primarily during summer months. Dates have yet to be set. The project is scheduled to wrap up in 2019.

You can see a nifty 1960s-era photo of I-5’s construction, and follow the modern rehab project, at

Have a question? Email us at Please include your first and last name and city of residence. Look for updates on our Street Smarts blog at

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