Overpass taking shape on U.S. 2 at Bickford SNOHOMISH - Drivers can now see the framework for the U.S. 2 overpass at Bickford Avenue, but it will be many more months before it opens.
“Over the next couple of months, we’re going to be working on pieces simultaneously,” state Department of Transportation spokeswoman Kris Olsen said last week.
The next step is installing “thousands and thousands” of pieces of rebar to build the bridge deck. Crews will then pour concrete to form the bridge this spring.
At the same time, a contractor will finish the walls for the new onramp in the next few months. Construction crews also will be piling up dirt at Bickford Avenue to connect the onramp to the bridge. Crews should have that filled in by May, Olsen said.
The overpass is 20 feet higher than where the road is now. Drivers will incline slightly when approaching the overpass, Olsen said.
The overpass should open this fall.
Crews reached a major milestone two weeks ago as the formative framework of the overpass was built over three consecutive nights.
The bridge won’t have any fancy decorations, Olsen said. The walls will have a standard pattern seen elsewhere in the state, she said.
The bridge is important as it eliminates an at-grade intersection crossing at Bickford Avenue and U.S. 2 that forces drivers to cross fast-moving eastbound U.S. 2 traffic to head west on U.S. 2 from Bickford.
Drivers headed westbound on U.S. 2 from Bickford will travel over a free-flowing onramp to U.S. 2 when the overpass is complete.
The overpass should end the chances of serious collisions there while eliminating delays. There were eight collisions involving drivers turning left at the intersection between 2006 and 2010, the DOT says.
The project’s first milestone was reached last fall when the DOT replaced corroded culverts in the area beneath the highway. The culverts will protect the highway from water runoff.
Construction started last year, and the cost for the overpass and new culverts were budgeted at $22 million. An $18.4 million grant from the Washington Traffic Safety Commission is largely funding the project.