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New SR 522 bridge takes shape in Monroe

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Date:  Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Contact: Meghan Soptich Pembroke, WSDOT communications, 206-440-4704 (Seattle)
Janice Fahning, WSDOT project engineer, 425-225-8725 (Everett)
Project hotline, 877-832-0303

Expect closures Wednesday, Thursday on 164th Street SE for girder setting

MONROE – The first of four new bridges on State Route 522 in Monroe will take a giant step forward this week as crews set 15 girders over 164th Street Southeast. The new bridge will carry westbound SR 522 traffic when the project is complete in late 2014.

“This is one of two bridges we’re building in Monroe, in addition to the new Snohomish River Bridge and the Elliot Road Bridge west of town,” said Janice Fahning, project engineer for the Washington State Department of Transportation. “Once we get the girders in place, we’ll start building the deck for the new bridge.”

The girders are 75 to 116 feet long and weigh 39 to 60 tons each. Crews need to close 164th Street Southeast to keep drivers safe while they place the girders over the roadway.

Crews will set five girders during the day Tuesday, May 29, without closing any roads, but drivers can expect to see crews working with cranes and other equipment near the roadway. Crews will close both directions of 164th Street Southeast at SR 522 at 10 p.m. Wednesday, May 30, and Thursday, May 31, while they set the remaining 10 girders. The road will reopen at 5 a.m. each day.

Drivers will follow a signed detour using Main Street, SR 522, US 2 and Fryelands Blvd. The on- and off-ramps at SR 522 and 164th Street Southeast will remain open during the closures.

Rock blasting just around the corner

Girder placement at north end of the project marks one milestone, but another is on the horizon in June, as crews gear up for rock blasting east of the Snohomish River Bridge.

“This summer will be our busiest construction season of the project,” said Fahning. “Drivers will need to stay in the loop because there’s a lot more activity – and lane closures – coming up.”

Next month, crews will begin blasting rock from two slopes along the westbound lanes of SR 522. They must remove 300,000 cubic yards of rock to make space to widen the highway, which will require up to 150 weekday closures of the highway.

Blasting is expected to start the week of June 18. Both directions of SR 522 will be closed from 10:15 to 11:15 a.m. during the blasts. During the closures, drivers will follow a signed detour using SR 9 and US 2.

The $159.7 million SR 522 widening project is one of the final projects in Snohomish County funded by the 2003 gas tax. Crews are adding one lane in each direction of SR 522 between the Snohomish River Bridge and US 2 in Monroe. They’ll also add a roundabout at 164th Street Southeast, a noise wall near 171st Avenue Southeast and median barrier between the east and westbound lanes. For more information, visit www.wsdot.wa.gov/Projects/SR522/Widen/SnoRiver_US2.

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