CHOKEPOINTS

Last chance to tell WSDOT what you want out of new US 2 trestle

Oct 6, 2020, 6:20 AM
trestle, Lake Stevens...
Highway 2 trestle. (WSDOT image)
(WSDOT image)

It’s time to talk about one of the most notorious chokepoints in Snohomish County, the daily backups on westbound Highway 2 where it meets I-5 in Everett.

It’s time for a new trestle, and the state is reaching out to drivers for their thoughts on what they think it should look like. The state wants to have a new westbound trestle up and running by 2045. It would be built next to the existing trestle, providing one-way traffic on each, greatly improving the capacity on the 3.5 miles from Lake Stevens to Everett.

“We know that the trestle is nearing the end of its useful life, in terms of being able to accommodate traffic and community growth,” said Kris Olsen with the Washington Department of Transportation. “By 2045, it will be at the end of its life, in terms of accommodating that.”

Olsen said you still have time to participate in an online open house to give planners your thoughts on the corridor.

“We can study it,” she said. “We see the traffic, but what are the people that are actually using the trestle, what are they actually experiencing? What do they think the problems are?”

Under normal, pre-COVID conditions, more than 80,000 vehicles use the trestle each day. Previous studies have looked at the Lake Stevens’ side, environmental issues, and potential funding. This open house focuses on the Everett connection to I-5. The top designs have three or four lanes, with some including an HOV lane, but it’s the connection to I-5 that is the real issue.

“A three-lane trestle would accommodate the traffic in 2045, but the problem is getting onto I-5,” Olsen said. “I-5 is at capacity now in the mornings, and there’s not a lot of room to let those people on US 2 squeeze in there.”

There is a potential to take an HOV lane under the existing eastbound trestle to join I-5 to take advantage of the limited space.

As for funding issues, we’ve talked about this before. Tolling is being considered as a possible funding source for the project, which is expected to come in over one billion dollars. The tolling under consideration is similar to many tolled facilities, with prices changing based on the time of day and direction.

Check out more of Chris’ Chokepoints.

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Last chance to tell WSDOT what you want out of new US 2 trestle