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Friday, September 13, 2013
Kris Olsen, WSDOT communications, 206-440-4704
Mark Sawyer, WSDOT project engineer, 425-225-8799
Local leaders cut ribbon as $22.4 million project gets finishing touches
SNOHOMISH – Drivers will have an easier time getting onto westbound US 2 starting Monday, Sept. 16, when the Washington State Department of Transportation opens the new Bickford Avenue overpass.
Dignitaries, including state Sen. Steve Hobbs, state Rep. Hans Dunshee, Snohomish County Executive John Lovick and Snohomish Mayor Karen Guzak, were on hand Friday for the project’s ceremonial ribbon cutting.
When the new overpass officially opens at 5 a.m. Monday, Sept. 16, westbound drivers on Bickford Avenue will no longer have to turn left across two lanes of traffic to merge onto US 2. Eliminating that left turn will reduce the risk of serious collisions in the area.
The project also provides new on- and off- ramps for eastbound traffic on Bickford, allowing drivers merging onto or exiting US 2 more room to accelerate or slow down. The new ramps will open later this month.
“We look forward to opening the new ramps at Bickford,” said WSDOT Northwest Regional Administrator Lorena Eng. “In addition to improving safety, they will make it much easier for drivers to access US 2.”
U.S. Rep. Rick Larsen helped secure federal funding for the project. This project is important to the regional transportation needs of commuters and freight haulers, he said.
“We can’t have a big league economy with little league infrastructure,” Larsen said. “I’m happy to have helped secure funding for this project that will make the US 2 Bickford Avenue intersection safer for Snohomish County drivers. I applaud the work of the local communities, the Traffic Safety Commission and WSDOT, whose successful collaboration on this project will make the community safer.”
The bulk of construction was funded through a $17.6 million grant from the Washington Traffic Safety Commission.
“Rural roads in Washington pose twice the risk of a fatal crash as urban roads. Projects like the US 2 Bickford Avenue overpass are crucial for us to reach our Target Zero goal of zero deaths by 2030,” said WTSC Deputy Director Steve Lind.
The overpass was built by contractor Granite Construction of Everett. Granite also installed street lighting and new drainage systems to replace deteriorating and rusted culverts under the roadway. The new culverts are made of heavy-duty rubberized plastic, which won’t corrode like the old metal pipes.
“Granite has been a great partner throughout this safety improvement project,” said WSDOT Project Engineer Mark Sawyer.
WSDOT expects to complete the project on time and within the current budget of $22.4 million.
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