MONROE – Drivers headed east through Monroe can skip the stoplight and cruise onto US 2 when a new off-ramp from State Route 522 opens early Saturday morning, Dec. 17.
The new flyover ramp gives travelers a faster, easier way to access eastbound US 2 with a dedicated lane bypassing the busy SR 522/US 2 interchange. Currently, drivers heading from eastbound SR 522 to eastbound US 2 must take the loop ramp and stop at a signal before turning left onto US 2.
“This is going to help reduce a lot of the congestion drivers face during the busy commute through Monroe,” said Janice Fahning, WSDOT project engineer. “We know that it’ll take time for drivers to get used to the new route, but the direct access will make it easier for drivers headed for Stevens Pass or eastern Washington.”
About 17,000 vehicles travel on SR 522 at the US 2 interchange every day.
The existing loop ramp will remain in place for drivers heading west on US 2 and for drivers who want to access local businesses north of US 2 from Kelsey Street. Drivers using the new ramp can access local businesses from Chain Lake Road.
In addition to the new ramp, crews built one new lane in each direction of US 2 - westbound between Chain Lake Road and SR 522 and eastbound between SR 522 and Cascade View Drive. The additional lanes will help improve traffic flow in and out of Monroe and ease congestion at the SR 522/US 2 interchange.
Construction on this $22.8 million project was completed by Scarsella Brothers of Kent.
The new flyover ramp is the first phase of a two-stage project to widen SR 522 to four lanes between US 2 and the Snohomish River Bridge. Construction began on the second part of the project in July and is expected to be completed by 2014.
Drivers can get more information, including a diagram of the traffic revisions, online at www.wsdot.wa.gov/projects/sr522/us2interchange/.