Spring project will improve safety of guardrails and barriers in King, Snohomish and Whatcom counties

Evening work planned at different sites from March through June

SHORELINE – A project to update and improve the safety of 24 guardrails and barriers across King, Snohomish and Whatcom counties begins mid-March, adding energy-absorbing features to reduce the impacts of crashes.

Contractor crews working for the Washington State Department of Transportation will replace guardrail protective end caps and flexible posts at various locations along Interstates 5, 90 and 405, US 2 and State Routes 522 and 527 as part of the Northwest Region Breakaway Terminal Cable Replacement project. The new guardrail end caps face oncoming traffic and are designed to crumple to better absorb energy in the event a vehicle collides with the barriers, improving safety for people in the vehicle.

Most of the guardrails included in the project are located along heavily used on- and off-ramps. At two Seattle locations along the southbound I-5 off-ramps at James Street and Northeast 71st Street, crews will replace and improve impact attenuators. These features provide an accordion-like cushion from nearby concrete barriers and help reduce a vehicle’s force in the event of a crash.

All work during the $3.5 million, four-month project is scheduled at night and tentatively begins Monday, March 11, with improvements to a guardrail end cap along the Swift Avenue South on-ramp to northbound I-5. Each site will take between one and 10 nights to complete. Updated project schedules, including lane and ramp closures, will be posted on the project webpage, WSDOT social media accounts and the real-time WSDOT Travel Center Map.

People traveling through work areas should expect shoulder, lane and ramp closures, with detours available where needed. WSDOT asks all travelers to stay alert and follow all detour signs in work zones to help keep roadway users and crews safe during this work.

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