New overpass on track to open next month
SNOHOMISH - There is only one more closure scheduled for the U.S. 2 and Bickford Avenue overpass project before it is expected to open on Monday, Sept. 16.
The 10-day closure will take place in early September, state Department of Transportation spokeswoman Kris Olsen said. Bickford Avenue will be closed between U.S. 2 and 83rd Avenue the evening of Friday, Sept. 6 through the morning of Monday, Sept. 16.
Once the 10-day Bickford Avenue closure is over, the highly anticipated safety-improvement project will be complete.
“When it reopens, Bickford Avenue will be connected to the new overpass, which will be fully operational for drivers,” Olsen said. “We’re going to have ourselves a new overpass. We’re very near completion.”
The $22.4 million project will take westbound U.S. 2 drivers over U.S. 2 to merge rather than having them cross eastbound U.S. 2 lanes. The intersection is currently a dangerous at-grade crossing, Olsen said.
The at-grade crossing puts drivers at risk for T-bone collisions, which continued to happen during construction of the overpass.
More than a dozen collisions have occurred at the site since 2006.
The project began construction in July 2012 and has remained on schedule. The new westbound onramp should be fully operational in September, Olsen said, with only finishing touches like landscaping left to be wrapped up over the fall.
Of the $22.4 million price tag, $18.4 million was paid for by a grant from the Washington Traffic Safety Commission.
Besides the new overpass, the project also included new retaining walls, five new culverts and drainage systems and improved lighting.
Replacing the culverts was a large portion of the project, DOT engineer Mark Sawyer said. The drainage culverts were incredibly deteriorated and in really bad shape, Sawyer said.
They needed to be replaced because they had been allowing water to seep in under the roadway, causing damage to the road surface.
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