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Bumps at U.S. 2 bridge to be smoothed over soon

SNOHOMISH — The notable bumps at a joint on U.S. 2’s Pilchuck River Bridge between Snohomish and Monroe will be remedied soon, according to the Washington State Department of Transportation.
Their contractor is targeting to replace the bridge joints in late April or early May, Transportation spokesman Joe Calabro said.
The contractor is waiting for the bridge joints to be fabricated. The result should be more flush with the road.
When a sunny weekend comes, they will close a single lane to do the work and have traffic pass through in alternating groups.
Right now, drivers are going over a concrete connector, Calabro explained. The old joints were removed last summer in anticipation for the new joints to arrive.
At that time, the bridge was repaved and crews also placed a new membrane on the bridge and inspected the bridge deck under the surface for any needed repairs.
The purpose of joints is to let the bridge expand and contract in cold and warm weather. The current system that uses a concrete header is flexible for the bridge, too, Calabro said.
The bridge work is one of the last pieces for a set of improvements from Snohomish to Gold Bar. Last year, 25 miles of highway got brand-new asphalt, and in February crews installed centerline
barriers along a section by Snohomish to prevent crossover crashes.
Transportation replaces bridge joints as preventative maintenance. It believes the joints could date to 1983 when the bridge was built.
Older expansion joints can pop out of place after years of service. It’s a driving hazard when they do as pieces stick up from the roadway.

U.S. 2 crash counter sign to be replaced
The black and yellow sign near the Westwick Road turnoff that tells how long ago the last serious-injury crash happened on U.S. 2 has mostly stayed blank the past 12 months. Calabro said the sign will someday be replaced.
The custom-built sign is “at the end of its life span” and was made from components that are hard to find replacement parts for, Calabro said.
WSDOT controls the sign. Changing the number is done right on-site, Calabro explained. Every major crash meant a WSDOT worker had to come hit the reset button on the sign. When the counter needs correcting, it took two clicks to advance the number by one day. Fifty days would take 100 clicks.




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