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Crews wrap up culvert replacements on US 2 near Snohomish

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Date:  Monday, October 01, 2012

Contact: Meghan Soptich Pembroke, WSDOT communications, 206-440-4704 (Seattle)
Mark Sawyer, WSDOT project engineer, 425-225-8799 (Everett)
Go online for culvert replacement photos and video

New overpass takes shape at Bickford Avenue

SNOHOMISH – After two months of weekend closures on US 2 near Snohomish, crews this morning finished replacing the last of five failing culverts under the highway and reopened westbound US 2 at 12:15 a.m. Monday, Oct. 1. The highway had been closed since 8 p.m. Friday, Sept. 28, between State Route 9 and 20th Street Southeast/State Route 204.

Drivers endured six weekends of detours and closures on US 2 while crews cut deep into the highway to remove and replace the corroded culverts. The new culverts are up to 300 feet long and buried up to 30 feet beneath the road.

“Winter weather is just around the corner, and the new culverts will be ready for action when rain and snow arrive,” said Mark Sawyer, project engineer for the Washington State Department of Transportation. “We know it’s inconvenient to deal with detours – especially on summer weekends – and we thank drivers for their patience during the work.”

Granite Construction crews working for WSDOT were able to reopen US 2 ahead of schedule during each of the six weekend closures.

“The good weather helped, but crews relied on excellent communication and coordination to get the work done quickly,” said Sawyer. “Their hard work means we won’t need to come back next year to finish replacing the culverts.”

The culverts underneath US 2 that carry water runoff from the roadway to nearby drainage systems were 40 years old, corroded and overdue for replacement. Crews replaced the failing steel culverts with new pipes made of thick, heavy, rubberized plastic. The new culverts will help prevent further damage to the roadway, cutting down on costly repairs and emergency closures.

With the culvert work behind them, crews will shift their focus to building the new Bickford Avenue overpass. Already, crews have removed a section of the hillside north of US 2 and are building a retaining wall to create space for the overpass and new on-ramp. On the south side of the highway, crews have dug a hole on the east side of Bickford Avenue as they prepare to install the bridge piers that will support the new bridge.

Drivers should expect continuing nightly closures on US 2 near Bickford Avenue. Crews plan to place girders for the new overpass in November.

The new overpass will allow drivers on Bickford Avenue to cross over US 2 and then merge into westbound traffic from a new right-hand on-ramp, reducing the risk of serious collisions. When the project is complete next fall, eastbound US 2 drivers will exit onto Bickford Avenue using a new, longer off-ramp that will connect to the overpass.

For more information on the $22.4 million project, visit www.wsdot.wa.gov/Projects/US2/BickfordSafety.


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