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New culverts and Bickford overcrossing coming to US 2 near Snohomish

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Date:  Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Contact: Meghan Soptich Pembroke, WSDOT communications, 206-440-4704 (Shoreline)
Mark Sawyer, WSDOT project engineer, 425-225-8799 (Everett)

Drivers can expect weekend-long directional highway closures this summer

SNOHOMISH – What’s the over/under on US 2? This summer, it’s $22.4 million. That’s the combined cost to build a new overcrossing at the Bickford Avenue intersection and to replace five failing culverts under the highway near Snohomish.

The Washington State Department of Transportation awarded Granite Construction of Everett the construction contract on Friday, June 8. Crews expect to begin work by early July. The new Bickford Avenue overpass will open to traffic in 2013, but culvert work will be complete by this fall.

“The drainage culverts under the highway are so corroded that our maintenance crews call them Swiss cheese,” said Project Engineer Mark Sawyer. “They’re past the point of repair. Replacing them will reduce our maintenance costs and help water drain off the road better.”

Drivers can expect up to six around-the-clock weekend closures of US 2 this summer during repair work – three closures for eastbound US 2 and three for westbound. During each closure, crews will cut open a 20-foot section of the highway and dig down 30 feet to remove the old steel culvert and install a new one, made of thick, heavy, rubberized plastic. Once the new culvert is in place, crews will repave that section of highway.

At the same time culvert work is under way, crews will also begin constructing stormwater detention ponds and retaining walls for new on- and off-ramps that will connect to the new Bickford Avenue overpass.

“We know drivers have waited quite a while for improvements to this intersection – it can be a difficult place to turn left,” Sawyer said. “It’s actually one of the last intersections on this stretch of US 2 where drivers still have to make a left turn across high-speed traffic. The overpass is going to make a big difference here.”

There were 13 collisions at the US 2/Bickford Avenue intersection from 2006 to 2010, including eight involving drivers turning left from Bickford Avenue. When it’s complete in fall 2013, the new overcrossing will allow drivers on Bickford Avenue to cross over US 2 and then merge into westbound traffic from a new right-hand on-ramp. Eastbound US 2 drivers can exit onto Bickford Avenue using a new, longer off-ramp that will connect to the overpass.

For more information on the new Bickford Avenue overcrossing, visit www.wsdot.wa.gov/projects/us2/bickfordsafety. Information about this summer’s US 2 culvert replacements can be found at www.wsdot.wa.gov/projects/us2/ebeysloughtobickford.

The combined culvert and overpass projects are funded through state and federal contributions.

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