More lane closures coming as work progresses at U.S. 2 and Bickford SNOHOMISH - The U.S. 2 and Bickford Avenue overpass project is right on track, project engineer Mark Sawyer said last week.
The $22.4 million state Department of Transportation project will build an overpass and ramp that will take drivers over the highway rather than across it to safely merge onto westbound U.S. 2, changing it from an at-grade crossing to a grade-separated crossing.
The new intersection will reduce the number of collisions between drivers crossing fast-moving eastbound U.S. 2 traffic to turn left onto westbound lanes.
The main effort this fall, Sawyer said, will be to get started on the bridge foundation, with hopes to build the overpass bridge itself throughout the winter.
The overpass is expected to be complete by spring or summer of 2013, just in time for paving season.
The DOT only paves through the summer until Oct. 15 to ensure structural integrity, Sawyer said.
“We want to give that pavement the best chance possible for survival,” he said.
A large portion of the project involves replacing five deteriorating drainage culverts which have allowed water to seep in under the roadway, causing damage to the road surface.
Of the six round-the-clock weekend closures needed to do the culvert work, three have been completed on schedule, Sawyer said.
“We’ll have single-direction weekend closures for the next three weeks,” Sawyer said.
The next full closure of eastbound lanes is Friday, Sept. 21 through Monday, Sept. 24 from 10 p.m. Friday to 5 a.m. Monday. The next full closure of westbound lanes is Friday, Sept. 28 through Monday, Oct. 1 from 8 p.m. Friday to 5 a.m. Monday.
Workers will begin the next round of culvert work next to the wetlands leading to Ebey Slough, which includes digging out the old culvert and replacing it with a new one. The culverts will be placed up to 25 feet under the ground.
“In order to have enough room to do this, they have to have the whole half of the road closed to traffic,” Sawyer said.
In the past few weeks, U.S. 2 has been the scene of three serious car crashes, two of which left people dead.