CLEARVIEW – Sandwiched between two recently-widened sections of State Route 9 to the north and south is a three-mile stretch of road that harkens back to a time when east Snohomish County was mostly bucolic farmland. Today, this two-lane highway is awkwardly narrow – a source of congestion and frustration for the more than 20,000 drivers who rely on it daily.
On Monday, Aug. 8, crews working for the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) kicked off the third and final stage of a project that will eventually widen a nearly eight-mile section of SR 9 to four lanes. Crews will add a new north- and southbound lane between 212th Street Southeast in Maltby and 176th Street Southeast in Clearview.
“We know drivers and residents aren’t eager to spend the next two years in a construction zone, but the end result will be worth the wait,” said Project Engineer John Chi. “Widening the road to four lanes will cut down on congestion and make the highway safer for drivers and residents alike.”
Drivers can expect weeknight lane closures near 212th Street to start Monday, Aug. 15, as crews begin clearing and excavating for the new lanes and building a new stormwater treatment pond. Lane closures are expected to continue through October, before crews move off the highway for the winter months.
This project is part of WSDOT’s long-range plan to make SR 9 through Snohomish County wider and safer. Between 2004 and 2009, the section of SR 9 between 212th Street Southeast and 176th Street Southeast averaged more than one collision per week. In addition to widening the highway in this area, crews will install raised median barrier to prevent serious crossover collisions and will build nine marked U-turn locations to allow drivers to safely turn across the highway.