MONROE – Commuters on SR 522 in Monroe can look forward to fewer delays and faster, safer trips. A much-anticipated project to widen four miles of the highway between the Snohomish River and US 2 will kick off in a little more than a month.
The Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) this week awarded the $73 million construction contract to Scarsella Brothers, Inc. of Kent. Their bid was 15 percent under WSDOT’s estimate. Construction could start as early as late June.
“We know how important this route is for commuters, and we’ve heard from drivers who have been waiting for this project for years,” said Chad Brown, project engineer. “Widening the highway will reduce the delays and congestion that drivers face during rush hour.”
Every day, nearly 29,000 drivers travel the four-mile stretch of SR 522 between the Snohomish River Bridge and US 2. Crews will add a new lane in each direction of SR 522 and build four new bridges, including a 1,700-foot-long bridge over the Snohomish River to carry westbound traffic.
Of the reported 92 collisions on this stretch of SR 522 from 2005 to 2009, three were fatal collisions and one that resulted in serious injuries. When the widened highway opens to traffic in 2014, concrete median barrier will separate oncoming traffic and reduce the risk of serious head-on collisions.
In addition to widening the highway, crews will add a noise wall near 171st Avenue S.E. and build a roundabout to improve traffic flow at the 164th Street S.E. interchange in Monroe.
When construction gets under way, drivers can expect nighttime lane closures on SR 522, as well some adjacent streets. Drivers should plan for full closures of SR 522 on weekdays this fall when crews start rock-blasting work near the highway.
For more information, visit www.wsdot.wa.gov/Projects/SR522/Widen/SnoRiver_US2 or call the project hotline: 877-832-0303.