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First weekend of closures on Everett trestle expected to snarl traffic

Update: Work on this project over May 19-20 will be postponed for bad weather.

Original article:

Snohomish and Lake Stevens drivers are going to lose their primary access to I-5 for six weekends as the Washington State Department of Transportation repaves the Hewitt Avenue Trestle. The first closure is set for this weekend.

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It has been 16 years since the westbound trestle had new asphalt put down, and that job is showing its age.

“It has a lot of ruts and potholes and cracks,” said Frances Fedoriska with WSDOT. “It’s bumpity, bump, bump the whole way into Everett.”

The state is ripping up all the old asphalt and laying down a new layer. Engineers will also check the structure for any other issues. But to do this, workers will need six weekends of closures on the westbound trestle.

There have been periodic nighttime closures for weeks, but this weekend the entire westbound trestle will be closed from the east end to about the middle. There really aren’t a lot of good alternatives to get around this. You can go north on Highway 9 and get to I-5 through Marysville. You can also go south on Highway 9 and hit I-5 through Mill Creek.

Fedoriska said they are planning to let drivers access the east-west road across Ebey Island, which is 20th Street, but it’s a tiny road and can’t handle much traffic.

“For those first four weekend closures, we’ve gotten creative,” she said. “We’re going to re-route traffic underneath the trestle.”

You will be driving the wrong way on eastbound 20th for a while before switching to the westbound 20th lane.

“It will pop drivers up on the west end of the trestle, and then get them safely to that I-5 interchange,” she said.

That cut-through is only available for the first four weekends. You will have to take the long way around for the other two, and the delays are expected to be significant.

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“We’re expecting lengthy backups on Highway 9, particularly between the hours of 8 a.m. and 8 p.m.,” she said.

Leave early or leave late, that’s the best advice for these weekends, which will continue through July.

And if you’re wondering why the eastbound direction isn’t getting any attention, Fedoriska says it’s newer and made of concrete, which means it doesn’t need maintenance as often.

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