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Westbound Highway 2 Closure May Bring Big Headaches In Snohomish County
This Weekend

August 15, 2018

Photo and graphic: WSDOT

Significant adjustments (including attitude) needed by drivers to avoid massive travel delays

By Rex D. Cain     
Chronicle News, Opinion & Expert Transportation Analysis

(SNOHOMISH COUNTY, WA.) – Let’s get this out of the way up front. You kids have been very, very bad of late and God is about to punish you.

The God of traffic congestion, that is. He gonna smite thee down and smack you all around. Make you do the funky chicken.

And when it’s all over you’re gonna look like Omarosa Manigault Newman after she’s gone 12 hard bare-knuckle rounds on the receiving end of Donnie Trump’s nasty, mean-spirited, moronic, unAmerican and always factually challenged Twitter account.

Let us pray now: Where have you gone Joe Di Maggio? A nation turns its lonely, embarrassed, exhausted and sorrowful eyes to you.

But we digress. Back to the angry God.

We are told by our spies down at the venerable Washington State Dept. of Transportation (WSDOT) that another closure of westbound US 2 in Snohomish County is on tap from 7 pm Friday, Aug. 17th to 4 am Monday, Aug. 20th.

And this time around the highway will be closed from State Route 9 to Interstate 5, ergo drivers are gonna have to go north or south on SR 9 to get around the construction.

Gonna be a royal pain. Look for fistfights all up and down the roads hard traveled. Check the video at bottom of this report.

The esteemed Ally Barrara over at WSDOT says, “If I were to use an emoji to describe what could be in store for Snohomish County drivers during the next three weekend closures of our westbound US 2 paving project, it would be the exploding head.”

God that was a good line. We gotta hire her. At any rate the exploding head is because these upcoming closures “could potentially gridlock traffic in Snohomish County from Marysville to Mill Creek.”

And no, she/they ain’t kiddin.’ Serious as a heart attack they are.

So the word is, if we all don't “make adjustments” during these weekends – carpool, public transit, biking, hang gliding, flying jet packs, personal gyro copters, hibernating – the traffic will make you feel like your head might explode. Boom!

And so forth and so on.

Here’s what’s happening

On the weekends of Aug. 18-19, Sept. 8-9 and Sept. 15-16, contractor crews will close all lanes of westbound US 2 between State Route 9 and the I-5 interchange – as long as the weather cooperates.

During these weekends, crews will repave the west end of the Hewitt Avenue trestle between Homeacres Road and the I-5 interchange. This means the 20th Street Southeast bypass detour ( used during previous closures) will not be available because it would drop vehicles right in the middle of the work zone.

Instead, drivers (that’s you) gotta detour onto SR 9 with options to go northbound on a 10-mile route to SR 528 in Marysville or southbound on a 12-mile route to Cathcart Way and SR 96 in Mill Creek.   

Plan LOTS of extra time to your travels

Whether you travel north or south on SR 9, expect it to take you AT LEAST 45 minutes longer to get around on these roads compared to when westbound US 2 is open. And that's without factoring in all the extra vehicles that would normally be on US 2.

WSDOT estimates the number of vehicles on northbound SR 9 and SR 528 will double during these US 2 closures. It will be even more crowded on southbound SR 9 and SR 96, where they expect the number of vehicles to triple during the closures.

So, simply: if you’re gonna be on the road during the next few weekends, budget A LOT of extra time into your travels.

What WSDOT needs drivers to do

If we the people (sounds like a founding fathers document) try to drive like it's business as usual during these next three weekend closures – or even like it's similar to the past few trestle closures – the highways will be completely jammed up say the folks at WSDOT. So they need everyone who plans to drive through this area to do something different, like:

  • Carpooling

  • Taking transit

  • Check Community Transit's website for route updates

  • Moving discretionary travel to a non-construction weekend

  • Traveling before 8 a.m. or after 8 p.m. to avoid peak congestion

  • Checking traffic conditions before you get behind the wheel

    • The WSDOT website will have closure and lane reduction updates.

    • Get weekly email updates on King and Snohomish County projects.

    • The WSDOT Twitter account will have info about traffic.

    • Download the WSDOT mobile app for traffic maps and other news and updates.



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