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Will weather finally allow for closure of westbound Highway 2?

Workers jackhammering around expansion joint along US 2 last summer. (WSDOT, Flickr)

If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again. The state hoped for better weather this weekend to finally get back to work on the Highway 2 trestle between Snohomish and Everett. But here we go again.

Telling the US 2 trestle tolling truth

Weather has once again postponed the road work, this time until Aug. 2.

You’ve probably heard me warn you about upcoming lane closures on the trestle since late spring of 2018. Last year, the project was postponed and postponed again, time after time, because the weather conditions just never cooperated.

It took until mid-summer before the state was able to get to work, and the contractor was only able to get four of the six weekend closures in before the weather turned again.

Fast-forward to this year, and history is repeating itself. The work to repair the westbound lanes of the trestle has been postponed three times already. This latest move is the fourth.

“We need completely dry conditions and warmer overnight temperatures,” says WSDOT’s Frances Fedoriska.

This work needs very specific conditions because the westbound trestle is covered in asphalt. To top it off and lay down the new layer, the state would like to have daytime temperatures in the 80s and overnight lows above 60 and no rain; not even drizzle.

“Any rain impairs our ability to lay down that waterproof coating that we need to protect the structure,” she said. The eastbound trestle is concrete, which doesn’t require such perfect conditions.

Fedoriska said the contractor has some time to play with this summer, so the state isn’t too worried about completing the work.

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“We need up to two more closures, whereas last year we were hoping to get in all six,” she said. “The contractors are going to wait for the perfect conditions to get the work done and get it done right.”

Should the work happen, Fedoriska said all westbound access across the trestle will be blocked.

Highway 2 preparing for a very busy construction season

“This is a full westbound closure between State Route 9 and I-5,” she said.

This is expected to cause major problems across Snohomish County, as most of the drivers who would normally use the trestle will be forced onto Highway 9, which can’t handle a lot of extra traffic on weekends. They are expected to divert into Marysville and Mill Creek to get around the closure.

So, will it happen?

It’s going to be close. The weekend forecast is dry, but the expected daytime temps and overnight lows a few degrees below the optimal conditions.

I’ll keep you posted.

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