CHOKEPOINTS

Four-month closure just weeks away for Snohomish River Bridge in Everett

May 2, 2024, 6:14 AM

Snohomish River Bridge Everett...

This is the northbound span of the Snohomish River Bridge on Hwy 529. (Photo: Chris Sullivan, KIRO Newsradio)

(Photo: Chris Sullivan, KIRO Newsradio)

Ninety-seven winters have taken their toll on the Snohomish River Bridge in Everett. It’s time to shut it down for some much-needed repairs.

A spot paint job and a little lubrication won’t be enough this time to keep the bridge in good shape, even though it was rebuilt in 1994. The Washington Department of Transportation (WSDOT) is getting ready to shut down the northbound span of the bridge — which is part of Highway 529 between Everett and Marysville — for four months.

But before that happens, WSDOT is going to reduce the northbound direction to just one lane.

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“We’re going to reduce the northbound bridge down to one lane starting Monday morning, and that’s going to be the prelude to a full northbound bridge closure which will come up at the end of May,” Tom Pearce, a communications consultant with WSDOT, said.

The four-month-long closure of the northbound span is expected to start May 28.

“We really need to get in and do some more work on the steel and some of the work on the mechanisms that make the bridge function,” Pearce said. “We want to repaint it too because painting is an important part of taking care of a bridge. That helps keep the steel in good shape, and this bridge is 97 years old. We’ve painted it a few times already and this is going to help keep it going.”

When that full closure begins, both directions of Highway 529 will be using the southbound span over the Snohomish River. But the work on the bridges along 529 isn’t the only construction going on between Everett and Marysville.

I-5 improvements between Everett and Marysville

Contractors are in the middle of a massive improvement project on Interstate 5 (I-5). A new northbound HOV lane is under construction. So is a whole new interchange at I-5 and 529. It will provide new on- and off-ramps to the freeway.

Part of this work is concrete improvements on I-5, a reason for WSDOT to close lanes on the highway this weekend. Northbound I-5 will be reduced to just one lane from Friday night through early Monday morning.

“We’re going to remove some asphalt pavement, and we’re going to replace it with concrete,” Pearce said. “That takes a lot of time because we need the concrete to cure and then of course we have to go back and re-stripe it.”

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There will be ramp closures too.

“We’ll have the ramp to Pacific Avenue and Marine View Drive closed,” Pearce said. “We’re also going to have the on-ramps from Everett Avenue and U.S. 2 closed in downtown Everett.”

This concrete replacement work is weather dependent so it could be pushed to another weekend.

WSDOT is expected to open the new 529 interchange and new HOV lane in the fall of 2025.

Check out more of Chris’ Chokepoints here. You can also follow Chris on X, formerly known as TwitterHead here to follow KIRO Newsradio Traffic’s profile on X.

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Four-month closure just weeks away for Snohomish River Bridge in Everett