CHOKEPOINTS

Major travel disruptions coming to Highway 529

Feb 6, 2024, 6:20 AM

travel disruptions 529...

State Route 529 in Washington (Photo courtesy of KIRO 7)

(Photo courtesy of KIRO 7)

Getting between Marysville and Everett is not going to be easy for most of the year. Construction on the bridges along Highway 529 is going to cause big disruptions.

Work to repair the 97-year-old bridge over Steamboat Slough was supposed to start last month, but bad weather and contractor issues have put the project on hold for a few weeks.  But when it starts, it is going to close the southbound 529 bridge over the water for three full weekends.

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The speed limit has been reduced on this bridge for months to keep the worn-out parts from getting worse.

“We’ve been watching it in the last couple of years, and there are some steel plates that connect beams that have gotten to the point where we now need to replace them,” the Washington Department of Transportation (WSDOT) Tom Pearce said. “These plates are part of the original bridge. They’ve held up really well, but after 97 years, it’s time to replace them.”

During these three weekend closures, Pearce said there aren’t many detour options.

“People who are going from Marysville to Everett are just going to need to use I-5 with the southbound roadway closed,” Pearce said. “People who are going northbound can use it, and they can still reach all of the points on the island.”

We should get an updated schedule this week for when the work will begin. It would take really bad weather to postpone it again.

“The work that we’re doing is only somewhat weather-dependent,” Pearce said. “It’s really more about safety. If it’s going to be really icy or there’s going to be high winds that wouldn’t be safe so we’d have to postpone. If it’s going to rain, then the crews have rain gear, and they’ll be out there in the rain.”

These three full weekend closures of southbound 529 over Steamboat Slough are just the appetizer for work on the corridor this year.

The bridge over the Snohomish River in Everett is about to be shut down for months.

“We’re going to have to close the northbound SR 529 Snohomish River Bridge for four months,” Pearce said.

The bridge will stay in the open position throughout the closure to make sure boats can get through, but this is going to be a major pain for drivers. The contractor will be creating two cross-overs on either end of the bridge to get traffic around this.

Northbound drivers will be forced into the southbound lanes, and the bridge will only have one lane in each direction open.

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“The crossover on the south side of the bridge will be up in Everett, and just after you get across the Snohomish River Bridge where things flatten out then we’ll put the other crossover in,” Pearce said.

The on-ramp from Marine View Drive will also be closed. Drivers will have to go south into Everett and do a U-turn to catch the crossover if they want to head north across the bridge. But that’s not it for Highway 529.

There will be multiple lane closures and full closures throughout the year and into 2025 to repair these bridges.

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Major travel disruptions coming to Highway 529