Here’s what you need to know from WSDOT.
Drivers who use Interstate 5 between Everett and Marysville should begin planning now for a bridge preservation project that will close multiple lanes on evenings and weekends.
On Monday, Aug. 10, crews working for PCL Civil Constructors will begin work on a $6.8 million project to replace 41 aging and deteriorating expansion joints on the bridges across the Ebey, Steamboat and Union sloughs.
“This is one of the biggest preservation projects in this area in recent memory,” said Washington State Department of Transportation Project Engineer Mark Sawyer. “We want drivers to stay engaged and plan ahead for lane closures because alternate routes are limited.”
Overnight lane closures
Through December, contractor crews will work on the Union Slough bridges immediately north of Everett during overnight lane closures.
One southbound lane may close as early as 7 p.m. A second lane may close as early as 11 p.m.
One northbound lane may close as early as 8 p.m. A second lane may close as early as 11 p.m.
There may also be closures of the on- and off-ramps at State Routes 528 (4th Street) and 529.
Weekend lane closures
The work will also require eight weekends of reducing I-5 to one or two lanes around the clock to remove and replace the expansion joints on the Steamboat Slough bridges and the northbound Ebey Slough bridge. Lane closures will only occur in one direction each weekend. These weekend closures will occur between January and June 2016. The dates for the weekend lane closures have not been determined.
“The expansion joints on these bridges are larger,” said Sawyer. “It’s going to take longer to chip out all the concrete, remove the existing joints, install the new ones and pour concrete. There just aren’t enough hours available in an overnight closure to get these done.”
Driver resources for staying engaged
With more than 60,000 vehicles using this stretch I-5 in each direction nearly every day, drivers will need to plan ahead. WSDOT has multiple resources and tools to help drivers create commuting strategies.
Check current traffic conditions on the WSDOT traffic page and plot alternate routes
Check travel alerts for closure, incident and collision information.
Watch the project website for announcements on dates for the weekend lane closures.
Follow WSDOT traffic on Twitter.
Call the 5-1-1 driver information line for updated closures and road conditions.
Coordination and cooperation
WSDOT is working closely with the cities of Everett, Marysville and Arlington; Snohomish County; and the Tulalip Tribes to coordinate lane closures during different road construction projects in the area to minimize the impact on drivers as much as possible.
Expansion joint information
Expansion joints are a critical component in bridge structures. They allow sections of a bridge to expand and contract with changing temperatures and traffic loads. Deteriorating expansion joints pose a risk to bridges and drivers.
The expansion joints on these bridges are 20 to 30 years old. Most of the joints are cracked, their seals are broken and bolts are missing. Water is also leaking onto the bridge girders, which can cause corrosion. Replacing the expansion joints ensures the bridges remain safe and open to drivers.
The project is scheduled to be complete by mid-June 2016.