New pavement, sidewalks and culverts, oh my!

By Frances Fedoriska

Forget yellow bricks! This spring, travelers on Mt. Baker Highway (State Route 542) in Whatcom County will follow the freshly-paved road as contractor crews begin working on two  projects to rehabilitate almost 20 miles of highway.

Resurfacing doesn't take a wizard
We didn't have to visit a wizard to make this work happen, we just had to turn to contractor crews! In May, workers from Doolittle Construction will begin resurfacing SR 542 from Britton Road on the east side of Bellingham to Markel Road in Kendall. This 18-mile section is part of a larger multi-county project preserving more than 35 miles on four different highways.

Contractor crews will work at night for the first few phases of the project. Then in July or August, they'll lay down the new oily surface and crushed rock and use the heat of our hot summer days to help it stick to the roadway.

No flying monkeys, but still some delays
Flying monkeys and apple-throwing trees delayed the trip to…

Being tough enough to ask for help

A colleague talks about the emotional toil of work zone crashes, and why we need everyone's help to keep workers and travelers safeBy Barbara LaBoe

David Sacchini is tough.

He's worked on construction and road crews, put out a garage fire at his house and helped save a loved one's life with CPR. He's been hurt on the job. A few days before Christmas in 2017, he was hurt again while working with our bridge maintenance crew on the I-5 Ship Canal Bridge in Seattle. The truck he was in was struck by a drunk driver and pushed 20 feet even though it had its brakes on.

But when Sacchini returned to job after that latest injury, he struggled.

He was anxious being back on the side of a road or bridge and worried about the responsibility for his crew. At times his heart was beating so hard during panic attacks that it felt like it was jumping out of his chest. He was also angry at the drunk driver who was going 120 mph when he struck Sacchini's work truck, putting everyo…

Getting ready to rumble in the North Cascades

Safety project adds layer of protection along one of Washington's most scenic highwaysBy Frances Fedoriska

Few will dispute emerald valleys, snow-capped monoliths and crystal clean waters make State Route 20 certainly one of probably essentially the foremost pretty drives within the Pacific Northwest. However, using by means of the winding wilderness requires whole focus, that's tough with such pretty scenery. This spring, contractor crews operating for WSDOT will set up security upgrades at the road.

Collision history
Between 2014 and 2018, SR 20 from Marblemount to Granite Creek had thirteen collisions involving automobiles crossing over the middle line. Five of those had been head-on collisions.

Rumble strips 101
When tires roll over the grooves that had been carved into the asphalt, they produce a loud rumbling noise. This signals the driver to transfer again into their lane. Based on nationwide research, those strips scale back the threat of head-on or reverse direction …

New signs on eastbound I-90 in Snoqualmie

By Nicole Daniels

If you normally journey on eastbound Interstate 90 among Preston and Snoqualmie, you're perhaps conscious of the common backups close to the State Route 18 off-ramp throughout top commute periods. Although construction to enhance the I-90/SR 18 interchange is scheduled to leap in 2021, we are continuing to enforce low cost improvements to take care of congestion and enhance security within the interim.

Recently, contractor crews from Northeast Electric, LLC put in NULL new lively caution indicators on eastbound I-90 simply west of the SR 18 off-ramp. The first signal is approximately NULL miles earlier than the I-90/SR 18 interchange, and the moment signal is set a mile earlier than the interchange. These indicators could be activated in summer season 2019.

The indicators are wired to automatically activate whilst site visitors forward is slowed or stopped, giving drivers extra time to sluggish down so as to keep away from rear-end collisions.

Previous improvement…

Swift action from bridge crews inspecting the I-5 Nisqually River Bridge saves more than taxpayer dollars

By Tina Werner

A regimen inspection of the northbound Nisqually River Bridge on Saturday, May four grew to turn out to be something but ordinary whilst our crews observed a brand new crack underneath the 82-year-old bridge. Thankfully, their eager eyes and quickly reaction helped keep away from essential delays for the 121,000 automobiles that journey that part of I-5 among Olympia and DuPont every day.

We many times check all state bridges to guarantee public safety, handle our centers and nicely plan for the future. These inspections permit us to track format condition and tackle issues or ruin early on earlier than they grow to be larger and extra expensive.

This certain bridge – which was constructed in 1937 to hold equally northbound and southbound site visitors on US 99 (I-5 was nonetheless a pair a long time away) – was final inspected in 2017.

This time, though, crews found a ground beam underneath the proper lane at the northbound bridge deck – known as a stringer – that had …

Weekend-long lane reductions coming to Aurora Bridge

By Tom Pearce

Ah, one other summer, one other spherical of weekend-long lane reductions in Seattle for repaving. This yr the closures will take area at the State Route 99 George Washington Bridge, aka the Aurora Bridge. It’s edge of a higher preservation challenge that consists of portray the bridge.

Our contract with Liberty Maintenance permits for paving for as much as 10 weekends. These weekends contain around-the-clock lane reductions at the bridge. This leaves only one lane open in every direction. The first lane aid start at 7 p.m. Friday, May 31, and can final till 5 a.m. Monday, June 3. Other weekend lane reductions scheduled to date are:

June 14-17
June 28-July 1
July 12-15
Aug. 9-12, 16-19 and 23-26
Bridge vs. land

Paving a bridge is other than paving on land. When there’s strong floor underneath, we are able to grind off the vintage pavement and go away it floor for a couple of days, then repave it a couple of nights later.

Bridges have layers – the Aurora Bridge has metal …

Travel reduced to one lane on SR 20 near Loup Loup Summit

Load restrictions and signal-controlled traffic are currently in placeBy Lauren Loebsack

UPDATE - Friday, May 31
At 9 p.m. on Tuesday, June 4, SR 20 will reopen to at least one lane of signal-controlled website online visitors close to Loup Loup Summit on the website of a washout in early May. The freeway had been totally closed for about per week as maintenance continued on the hillside. Repair work is ongoing for what is anticipated to be a number of extra weeks so drivers must count on some delays via the work zone and be alert and secure round street workers.

UPDATE - May Thursday, May 23

The emergency restore occurring on SR 20 east of Loup Loup Pass following a washout previous this month will require a complete closure of the highway. From 6 a.m. Tuesday, May 28 till 9 p.m. Tuesday, June 4, the freeway might be totally closed at milepost 222.4. The contractor has reached a level of their work which will require them to excavate very tender fill fabric underneath the roadway, wh…