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Rock blasting and daytime closures of SR 522 in Monroe start Monday

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Date:  Friday, July 27, 2012

Contact: Meghan Pembroke, WSDOT communications, 206-440-4704 (Shoreline)
Janice Fahning, WSDOT project engineer, 425-225-8700 (Everett)

MONROE – Crews will begin moving mountains next week in an effort to make way for two new westbound lanes on State Route 522 in Monroe. The highway will be closed for an hour on weekday mornings while crews blast and remove 300,000 cubic yards of rock.

The first of up to 150 rock blasts will close the highway from 10:15 to 11:15 a.m. Monday, July 30, near the Snohomish River. Blasting will occur at the same time three to five days a week, Monday through Friday.

Scarsella Brothers, Inc. crews working for the Washington State Department of Transportation will close both directions of SR 522 between Fales/Echo Lake roads and 164th Street Southeast in Monroe during the blasts.

“We’re closing the highway during the blasts to keep drivers safe from falling rocks,” said WSDOT Project Engineer Janice Fahning. “We know the closures are inconvenient, but this work means that we’re another step closer to opening a wider, safer roadway.”

Drivers can take alternate routes during the closures or follow a signed detour using State Route 9 and US 2. The detour will add 10 miles and about 20 minutes of travel time, depending on a driver’s destination and traffic conditions.

Residents in the area will hear warning horns and whistles prior to each blast, as crews clear and secure the blasting area. Crews will use a mobile rock-crushing plant near the blast site to crush the rock before it’s hauled away.

“Even though rock blasting is exciting to watch, safety is our number one concern,” Fahning said. “We’re asking people to stay away from the site during blasting. We’ll post pictures and video on our website.”

The $128.8 million SR 522 widening project is one of the final projects in Snohomish County funded by the 2003 gas tax. When construction wraps up in late 2014, the four-lane divided highway will reduce congestion and the risk of collisions for the nearly 28,000 drivers who use it each day.

For more project information, photos and a detour map, visit www.wsdot.wa.gov/projects/sr522/widen/snoriver_us2.


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