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SR 9 work prompts road closures Oct. 5-8
ARLINGTON Road closures have been announced for the stretch of Highway 9 between 252nd and 268th streets, starting at 10 p.m. on Oct. 5 and lasting until 5 a.m. on Oct. 8.
According to Patty Michaud, spokesperson for the Washington State Department of Transportation, these closures are part of the $19.9 million construction project between Arlington and Bryant, which began in the spring of this year and is expected to be completed by the fall of 2009.
During the closure, crews will raise the elevation of the road between two and three feet, Michaud said. This work includes hauling in fill material to raise and widen the roadway, before laying asphalt. Because changing the road elevation requires crews to work on both sides of the road at the same time, we cant alternate traffic safely through this area while were raising the height of the road.
Michaud added that doing this work during the weekend should allow construction crews to complete their task and reopen the road before the start of the Monday morning commute. In the meantime, she advised drivers to look for detour signs.
We need to complete this work to allow time for the road to settle before we continue construction in that area next year, Michaud said. Because this road work is weather dependent, we have to complete it before winter. Construction work such as paving and building up roadbeds requires warmer, dry weather.
The construction on Highway 9, between Arlington and Bryant, aims to fill in a dip in the Stanwood-Bryant road at 268th Street, intersecting with Highway 9, for improved driver visibility, straighten the curve between Schloman Road and 268th Street. Its also designed to add new turn lanes at 252nd and 268th streets, approximately one mile of new road that will include a new 180-foot bridge that will span Harvey Creek and Harvey Creek Road, and three new water detention and treatment ponds.
Highway 9 is the only north-south corridor alternative to Interstate 5, Michaud said. This project is part of the $287 million we are investing to make Highway 9 a safer, modern urban highway. Since 1999, there have been 132 collisions on the three-mile stretch between Schloman Road and 269th Place NE. Once crews complete their work, drivers weary of navigating this winding uphill stretch of road will enjoy a straight highway with good sight visibility and wider shoulders.
Because the Suicide Hill section of Highway 9 approaches the construction entrance with limited visibility, crews will continue flagging and alternating lanes to keep drivers and crews safe during construction. The Oct. 5-8 closure is the first of four anticipated weekend closures and reroutes.
The areas soft, peaty soil will need the new roadbed and bridge footings to settle for a few months, before the crews can continue their work, Michaud said. Using heavy compacting equipment, the crews are currently pounding out hundreds of 30-foot-deep, three-foot-wide columns, and filling each column with 12 cubic yards of crushed rock to build a stable base for the bridge footings.
Since Sept. 4, WSDOT contractor Scarsella Brothers has added another set of crews, to work through the night as well as the day.