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New WSDOT cameras, hardware map 16 miles of I-5 between Everett, Arlington

MARYSVILLE — For years, drivers in Snohomish County had to guess what traffic conditions would be like on Interstate 5 north of Everett. Cameras and traffic flow information stopped at the Snohomish River bridge, and the 16 miles of I-5 between Everett and Arlington showed up on the Seattle-area traffic map, at www.wsdot.wa.gov/Traffic/seattle, as a stretch of gray with the words, "No equipment available."

Crews recently finished a $3.2 million project that completes a fiberoptic network and brings cameras online to provide traffic information on those 16 miles, and that formerly grey stretch of traffic map now shows real-time traffic conditions, giving drivers a better way to estimate travel times between Everett and Arlington. New Washington State Department of Transportation traffic cameras stationed between the Snohomish and Stillaguamish rivers also give drivers a bird's-eye view of traffic and road conditions.

"It's all about keeping drivers informed so they can avoid delays," said WSDOT Traffic Management Center Supervisor Chris Thomas. "Having the new cameras and roadway data loops in place help us spot and respond to collisions much faster and quickly share that information with drivers."

Construction in the summer of last year filled in a four-mile fiberoptic gap on I-5 between Marysville and Everett. The project completed a fiberoptic system started several years ago when WSDOT installed 12 miles of cameras and traffic data loops on I-5 between Marysville and Arlington as part of the median barrier project, whose details can be found online at www.wsdot.wa.gov/projects/i5/marysvillemedianbarrier.

The completed fiberoptic connection gives the area's 118,000 daily drivers nearly 16 miles of new traffic data and cameras so they can better plan their travel. That same information is streamed as live feed to WSDOT staff in the regional Traffic Management Center in Shoreline, whose website is www.wsdot.wa.gov/Operations/Traffic/tmc.htm, and whose data is shared with regional media and posted on the WSDOT website.

In addition to camera and data loop installation, crews this summer repaved a four-mile stretch of southbound I-5 between Marysville and Everett, updated road signs, lighting and guardrail, and improved stormwater drainage on the Ebey Slough bridge. More information about this project, as well as links to the Seattle traffic map, are available on the project website at www.wsdot.wa.gov/Projects/I5/SnohomishEbey.

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