Crews set girders for new SR 522 Snohomish River Bridge
MONROE – The wet October weather hasn’t slowed crews widening four miles of State Route 522 near Monroe. This week they’ll reach a major milestone as they take delivery and set the first of 49 steel girders for a new 1,700-foot-long bridge that will carry westbound SR 522 traffic over the Snohomish River.
“We worked hard this summer to finish our drilling work in the river and complete all nine bridge piers,” said Janice Fahning, project engineer for the Washington State Department of Transportation. “Setting girders this fall means we’re right on track to open a four-lane SR 522 to drivers in late 2014.”
At 3 a.m. Thursday, Nov. 1, the first girder section will make its way down SR 522 to the Snohomish River. Crews will use a series of rolling slowdowns on westbound SR 522 between US 2 and the Snohomish River throughout the day to unload the girders at the work site; two will take place between 3 and 4 a.m. and two are scheduled between 9 and 11 a.m. Drivers should plan for up to four rolling slowdowns each day from now through Nov. 15, with delays of about five minutes.
“This fall, we’ll use cranes to set girders between the piers on the north side of the river – primarily over land,” said Fahning. “Next spring, we’ll use large steel rollers to help us set the massive girders that will span the river itself.”
The assembled girders range in length from 150 to 305 feet, and each section weighs between 30,000 and 55,000 pounds. Crews have built a temporary ramp from westbound SR 522 to the work site on the north side of the river for the delivery trucks.
Crews reach rock-blasting milestone
Crews blasting rock next to the highway have reached the halfway point in their efforts to make space for the new lanes of SR 522. As of late October, crews had blasted and removed nearly 150,000 cubic yards of rock – 50 percent of the total rock they expect to remove before the project is done.
“We’ve made excellent progress, and we’re right on target to wrap up blasting work by mid-2013,” said Fahning. “We appreciate drivers’ patience during this critical work.”
Drivers can expect a full closure of SR 522 between Fales/Echo Lake roads and 164th Street Southeast from 10:15 to 11:15 a.m. Thursday, Nov. 1, as rock blasting continues.
Three more bridges take shape
In addition to the Snohomish River Bridge, crews are building three more bridges to carry two lanes of westbound SR 522 traffic. They’ve poured the bridge deck for the 164th Street Southeast overpass and are completing the second of two piers for the Elliot Road bridge. Work is expected to start on the 179th Avenue Southeast overpass next spring.
The $128.8 million SR 522 widening project is one of the final projects in Snohomish County funded by the 2003 gas tax. Crews are adding one lane in each direction of SR 522 between the Snohomish River Bridge and US 2 in Monroe. They’ll also add a roundabout at 164th Street Southeast, a noise wall near 171st Avenue Southeast and median barrier between the east and westbound lanes. For more information, visit http://www.wsdot.wa.gov/Projects/SR522/Widen/SnoRiver_US2.