Street Smarts reader Greg Miner, of Tulalip, writes: “The 116th Street overpass on I-5 has been under construction for months. It appears to be unfinished. All the workers have left. What gives?”
This is a $62 million project led by the Tulalip Tribes, in cooperation with the Washington State Department of Transportation, as well as the Federal Highway Administration, U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs, Snohomish County and Marysville.
Construction began in 2015 and has proceeded since then in multiple phases.
“The bridge deck is 99 percent complete with the exception of a small spot on the northwest side of the deck,” said Debbie Bray, the Tribes’ transportation manager. “This completion and striping is dependent upon weather. Since all work must be done during the night on this project due to high traffic volumes we need a dry night with temps above 45 degrees.”
Even then, the project won’t be quite done.
The final phase, which involves reconstructing the ramps that feed the interchange, is set to begin later this year and wrap up in 2018, Bray added.
The new overpass will accommodate six lanes of traffic, plus space for pedestrians and bicycles, and is expected to reduce gridlock at a location where 25,000 vehicles per day get off the freeway — one-quarter of all traffic that travels that stretch of I-5.