MARYSVILLE – Commuters on State Route 529 should bid their farewells to the Ebey Slough Bridge when they cross it on Friday, before the 87-year-old bridge is retired from service and crews ready the adjacent new bridge to carry Monday morning traffic.
Granite Construction crews working for the Washington State Department of Transportation will close both directions of SR 529 at 8 p.m. Friday, April 13, while they prepare to switch traffic to a portion of the new bridge. When the highway reopens at 5 a.m. Monday, April 16, both directions of SR 529 will be on half of the new bridge. Drivers will follow a signed detour using I-5 and SR 528 during the weekend construction closure.
“The bridge is old and overdue for retirement,” said Mark Sawyer, WSDOT project engineer. “On Monday, we’ll open part of the new bridge to traffic and then begin dismantling the old bridge.”
Crews working for WSDOT will position cranes on the closed west half of the new bridge to remove pieces of the old bridge. For the next nine months, both north and southbound SR 529 traffic will run in the future northbound lanes of the new bridge, with one lane in each direction.
“This is complex demolition work because it’s over water,” Sawyer said. “We’re also dealing with steel covered in lead paint and other potentially hazardous materials. We have a plan in place that will protect our workers and the slough during the demolition.”
SR 529 is a main commuter route between Marysville and Everett and is used by about 17,000 drivers each day. Crews are nearly finished building the wider four-lane fixed-span bridge next to the existing two-lane swing-span bridge. They expect to connect the west side of the bridge to a new alignment of SR 529 by January 2013, when the bridge will fully open to traffic with two lanes in each direction, separate bicycle lanes and sidewalks on each side of the bridge.
The $39.2 million project to replace the aging Ebey Slough Bridge is funded by the 2005 gas tax. For project details, photos and graphics, visitwww.wsdot.wa.gov/projects/sr529/ebeysloughbridge.