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Girder setting marks turning point for US 2 overpass near Snohomish

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Date:  Friday, December 14, 2012

Contact: Kris Olsen, WSDOT communications, 206-440-4475
Mark Sawyer, WSDOT project engineer, 425-225-8799

Full closures of US 2 at Bickford Avenue planned overnight Dec. 17-19

SNOHOMISH – Drivers who use US 2 near Snohomish should plan ahead for three overnight closures next week as crews reach a major milestone on construction of a new overpass.

US 2 will be closed nightly in both directions between State Route 9 and 20th Street Southeast starting Monday, Dec. 17 through Wednesday, Dec. 19. Westbound US 2 closes at 8 p.m. and eastbound at 10 p.m. as cranes hoist eight massive concrete girders into place for the new overpass. The highway reopens daily at 5 a.m. Several ramps will also be closed. More details about the closures can be found on the US 2 Bickford Avenue project website. A detour will be provided via 20th Avenue Southeast and SR 9, the same detour used in previous closures. The detour will add 10-15 minutes to drivers’ trips

“Once the girders are in place, drivers will really be able to visualize what the new overpass will look like,” said Project Engineer Mark Sawyer. “They’ve waited a long time for improvements to this intersection and this is a big step toward making that happen.”

The girders form the backbone of the new overpass that will allow drivers on Bickford Avenue to more easily merge onto westbound US 2. Right now, drivers must turn left across the eastbound lanes of the highway.

Each girder weighs 142,000 pounds – that’s almost as much as 12 large male orcas. The eight, 142-foot-long girders placed end to end would be 44 feet longer than the aircraft carrier USS Nimitz based at Naval Station Everett.

Crews will also build work platforms around the girders during the closures. Those platforms will allow them to work on installing rebar and forms where the new concrete bridge deck will eventually be poured while minimizing disruptions to drivers on US 2.

Intersection improvements began this summer when crews started work on the three bridge piers for the overpass, built retaining walls and laid the groundwork for the new westbound on-ramp. Crews will also build new eastbound on- and off-ramps at Bickford Avenue.

This work is part of the US 2/Bickford Avenue intersection safety and culvert replacement project. The new intersection is scheduled to open in the fall of 2013. For more details, visit www.wsdot.wa.gov/Projects/US2/BickfordSafety/default.htm. For more information on closures in Snohomish County, visit www.wsdot.wa.gov/Northwest/Snohomish/Construction/.


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