Bickford Avenue overpass opens
SNOHOMISH - The long awaited Bickford Avenue overpass at U.S. 2 opened to vehicles last week.
The new overpass eliminates the need for drivers to crossover fast-moving eastbound U.S. 2 traffic to merge into westbound U.S. 2 lanes from Bickford Avenue.
The intersection, which was under construction for more than a year, was the site of dozens of traffic accidents over the past few years, some of them fatal.
“Everything is going fine, there have been no complaints,” state Department of Transportation spokeswoman Broch Bender said about the opening of the overpass. “From what we understand, drivers are happy with the changes and it’s better than what was there before.”
The project was mostly funded by a $17.6 million grant from the Washington Traffic Safety Commission.
The entire project had a $22.4 million budget. The DOT expects to complete the project not only within budget but also on the scheduled opening time line of fall 2013.
The eastbound ramps will be completed at the end of the month, Bender said.
Currently, crews are finishing up work on the eastbound on- and off-ramps by filling in the ramp areas and preparing to connect them to the new overpass, Bender said.
There was no opening date set for the eastbound ramps at press time.
The U.S. 2 and Bickford overpass has been in the works since 2009. The DOT began designing the project that July and construction began in July 2012.
Everett-based company Granite Construction won the bid and did all the construction work. In addition to creating the overpass to take drivers safely over the highway, Granite also installed new street lighting and drainage systems to replace deteriorating and rusted culverts under the roadway.
The culvert replacement project was actually a large part of the project that the public didn’t necessarily see, DOT project engineer Mark Sawyer said.
The new culverts will reduce annual maintenance costs, according to the DOT.
They are made of heavy-duty rubberized plastic that won’t corrode like the previous pipes which were made of metal. The culverts provide proper drainage for roadway water runoff.
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