The Trestle’s junction with I-5 is under evaluation (Kevin Clark / The Herald)

The Trestle’s junction with I-5 is under evaluation (Kevin Clark / The Herald)

With money secured, study underway for I-5, U.S. 2 interchange options

The Everett City Council approved a $2 million contract to find alternative designs for the highly trafficked spot.

EVERETT — Options to redesign the Interstate 5 and U.S. 2 interchange could be ready late next year.

The Everett City Council on Wednesday approved a $2,047,633 contract with Seattle-based firm Parametrix to conduct the interchange justification report. A federal grant will cover $2 million, with the rest split by Everett and Snohomish County.

The firm’s study is expected to develop and evaluate up to 15 alternative improvements to the interchange, including connections to city streets. The firm will then narrow the options, including a preferred alternative, according to the agreement.

The interchange report looks at traffic volume and population growth projections to determine if a new interchange is needed. When the city first pursued the study in 2020, city engineer Tom Hood said it is the first step toward securing funding for design and construction.

That means it could be years before change comes. The stretch of I-5 averaged 145,000 vehicles per day in 2020, according to state data. Those numbers during the pandemic were lower than in 2019.

Drivers who commute north every weekday afternoon and evening know the backups to U.S. 2.

Some 18,000 drivers per day broke off from I-5 to eastbound U.S. 2 there, according to state data.

The ramp from I-5 east to U.S. 2 curves and has a 35 mph speed limit. During peak commute hours, the combination of traffic volume and the required slowdown can mire I-5.

The interchange report is one of three related to the 2.5-mile span of U.S. 2 between Everett and Lake Stevens. The other reports are for the interchange on the east end at 20th Street SE and Highway 204 in Lake Stevens and replacing the westbound trestle.

The Washington State Department of Transportation’s 2018 report concluded the preferred alternative for the Lake Stevens interchange would add a lane to the trestle, separate ramps from 20th Street SE and Highway 204, add a signal at the intersection underneath the on-ramps, and put two-way traffic access over Ebey Slough Bridge. The estimated cost is around $410 million.

The Legislature recently passed $17 billion transportation package included $200 million toward the trestle replacement. Early estimates for the project are $1 billion.

More lanes wouldn’t solve congestion, according to a study of the westbound trestle replacement completed last year. Part of the problem is capacity on I-5.

The trestle study also concluded that three lanes could be sufficient for traffic projections in 2040 if congestion was “addressed on the highway network.” One lane could be for HOV, express toll or peak-use shoulder.

On the west end, the I-5 interchange report is supposed to be on a schedule similar to work on the trestle replacement.

But work won’t proceed until the Legislature funds it.

The report also is intended to look at connections to Everett’s streets. Currently drivers can reach the trestle from Hewitt Avenue, and spill into the city at California or Walnut streets.

Parametrix is expected to host in-person and online open houses and update the city’s web page.

Ben Watanabe:; 425-339-3037; Twitter @benwatanabe.

Talk to us

> Give us your news tips.

> Send us a letter to the editor.

> More Herald contact information.

More in Local News

A big decision for Boeing’s next CEO: Is it time for a new plane?

As Boeing faces increased competition from Airbus, the company is expected to appoint a new CEO by the end of the year.

A Mukilteo Speedway sign hangs at an intersection along the road in Mukilteo. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Mukilteo Speedway name change is off to a bumpy start

The city’s initial crack at renaming the main drag got over 1,500 responses. Most want to keep the name.

Two workers walk past a train following a press event at the Lynnwood City Center Link Station on Friday, June 7, 2024, in Lynnwood, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Trains up and running on Lynnwood Link — but no passengers quite yet

Officials held an event at the Lynnwood station announcing the start of “pre-revenue” service. Passengers still have to wait till August.

Nedra Vranish, left, and Karen Thordarson, right browse colorful glass flowers at Fuse4U during Sorticulture on Friday, June 7, 2024, in Everett, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
A promenade through Everett’s popular Sorticulture garden festival

Check out a gallery of the festival’s first day.

Left to right, Everett Pride board members Ashley Turner, Bryce Laake, and Kevin Daniels pose for a photo at South Fork Bakery in Everett, Washington on Sunday, May 26, 2024. (Annie Barker / The Herald)
Second Everett Pride aims for even bigger rainbow of festivities

Organizers estimated about 3,000 people attended the first block party in Everett. This year, they’re aiming for 10,000.

School board members listen to public comment during a Marysville School Board meeting on Monday, June 3, 2024 in Marysville, Washington. Rinehardt is seated third from left. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Marysville school board president resigns amid turmoil

Wade Rinehardt’s resignation, announced at Monday’s school board meeting, continues a string of tumultuous news in the district.

A BNSF train crosses Grove St/72nd St, NE in Marysville, Washington on March 17, 2022. Marysville recently got funding for design work for an overcrossing at the intersection. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)
BNSF owes nearly $400M to Washington tribe, judge rules

A federal judge ruled last year that the railroad trespassed as it sent trains carrying crude oil through the Swinomish Reservation.

The I-5, Highway 529 and the BNSF railroad bridges cross over Union Slough as the main roadways for north and southbound traffic between Everett and Marysville. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Highway 529 squeeze starts now between Everett, Marysville

Following a full closure for a night, starting late Sunday, Highway 529 will slim down to two lanes for months near the Snohomish River Bridge.

Everett Housing Authority is asking for city approval for its proposed development of 16 acres of land currently occupied by the vacant Baker Heights public housing development on Tuesday, Oct. 18, 2022, in Everett, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Everett inches closer to Park District affordable housing plan

Building heights — originally proposed at 15 stories tall — could be locked in with council approval in July.

The intersection of Larch Way, Logan Road and Locust Way on Wednesday, March 27, 2024 in Alderwood Manor, Washington. (Annie Barker / The Herald)
Roundabout project to shut down major Bothell intersection for months

The $4.5 million project will rebuild the four-way stop at Larch and Locust ways. The detour will stretch for miles.

State Sen. Mark Mullet, left, and Attorney General Bob Ferguson, right, are both running as Democrats for governor in 2024. (Photos courtesy of Mullet and Ferguson campaigns)
Rival Democrats spar over fundraising in Washington governor’s race

Mark Mullet is questioning Bob Ferguson’s campaign finance connections with the state party. Ferguson says the claims are baseless.

A log truck rolled over into power lines on Monday, June 17, in Darrington. (Photo provided by Alexis Monical)
Log truck rolls into utility lines in Darrington, knocking out power

The truck rolled over Monday morning at the intersection of Highway 530 and Fullerton Avenue. About 750 addresses were without power.

Support local journalism

If you value local news, make a gift now to support the trusted journalism you get in The Daily Herald. Donations processed in this system are not tax deductible.