What’s getting fixed and what it means for your drive
In Alaska, it is sometimes said that there are four seasons; early winter, mid-winter, late winter and road work.
Lately around Monroe, it seems the Alaskan rule, at least for summer, holds true locally as well.
Here’s a list of all road projects currently underway and when they are due for completion.
Chain Lake Road roundabout
Construction on a roundabout at the intersection of North Kelsey Street and Chain Lake Road began in early June.
The project is designed to reduce the probability of collisions, especially the dangerous t-bone and head-on collisions that can occur at t-shaped and four-way intersections, ahead of increases in traffic associated with Walmart and other commercial development in the North Kelsey area.
By July 1, the excavation for the new roadway was complete, as was the installation of of most of the underground utilities. Sidewalks and curbing have been going in through July.
The contractor hopes to have the new roundabout open in time for the Evergreen State Fair.
East Fremont Street
Underground utilities throughout old-town Monroe are aging and in need of replacement, so when the city does a street repair, it makes sense to replace water pipes and sewer lines at the same time.
The city started work on East Fremont Street, which runs alongside the Monroe School District administration building, all the way back in June of 2011, when they began looking for consultants to design the project.
The city had three alternatives. East Fremont Street is included in the Downtown Master Plan, a document created to guide the eventual redevelopment of the downtown. The plan calls for widened streets with attractive benches, wide sidewalks, and trees.
Ultimately, that section of Monroe that lies between the downtown and Al Borlin Park is meant to tie the downtown to the park, becoming a more inviting and attractive district than its currently industrial nature provides.
When approaching the necessary repairs to Fremont Street, the city had the option of only doing the most basic work and leaving the appearance of the street mostly untouched; doing part of the work to enhance the street to the guidelines of the Master Plan but leaving things like trees for a later time, or simply enhancing the street in accordance with the Master Plan.
The city chose the third option, and construction on the project began in June of 2013.
The actual construction of the street, including underground utility replacement and sidewalks, was finished in March, but there was a hangup as the city waited for grates to put over the tree cutouts. In July, the city decided to opt for recycled rubber tree rings instead of metal grates.
The new sidewalks are wider and made of pervious concrete, which reduces rain runoff. There is new fencing, new asphalt and the stripes have been repainted.
Blakely and Hill Street
One of the major goals of modern street design is reducing the amount of storm water that goes into the city’s sewer system. That has two benefits; it reduces the burden on the sewer plant, and it reduces the amount of pollution picked up and carried along by the water as it sluices across the hard surfaces of streets and sidewalks, allowing water instead to filter into the ground, which cleans it naturally as it reenters the groundwater.
The city got a grant to separate the storm water system from the sewer system on East Hill and North Blakeley, and the project included pervious (or porous) concrete parking lanes and new sidewalks, as well as new asphalt driving lanes on Hill Street.
Construction began in May, and Phase One was completed in June, including North Blakeley in front of the Post Office. Phase Two, including Hill Street between Lewis and Ferry, is still ongoing. The water mains there have been replaced, and now new asphalt and concrete is going in, as well as curbs, pervious concrete parking lanes and sidewalks.
The entire 2,700-foot project is slated for completion by June of 2015.
Soon to come:
Work to separate the storm water system from the sewer system and replace the old sewer lines along part of Pike Street was supposed to begin in June, and although the design part is complete, other projects have pushed the construction back to August at the earliest.
The city will tear up Pike Street from Madison to Sam Street, disconnect residential sewers from the old sewer and storm line and connect them to a newer line. A new storm water system will replace the old one, and the old one will be abandoned.
Lewis Street and Main Street
So far, all the work on Lewis and Main streets has been done on paper. Staff began designing a project last November, and surveying is complete.
By April of next year, contractors will begin the construction, adding a new storm drainage system to infiltrate storm water into the underlying soil, rather than collect it all and send it into the sewer system.
That will mean tearing up Lewis Street from the corner of the Adam’s Bistro building all the way across Main Street and about a half-block past Fremont Street. Main will be torn up from Lewis to Ferry Street.
The project is planned for completion at the end of June three months later.
The project is paid for by a grant from the Department of Ecology.
Already completed this summer:
This month, county road maintenance staff repaired the embankment on Trombley Road just south of 183rd Drive SE.
Three-quarters of the road bed was excavated and replaced. A full road closure was in effect during the restoration.
As of July 24, the road reopened to through traffic.
Elizabeth Street got 700 feet of new sidewalk and parking lane, thanks to a Community
Development Block Grant.
Construction of pervious parking lanes, concrete curb and sidewalk and a new planter strip began in June. The project was supposed to take until September to complete, but is already finished.
Since 2012, WSDOT has been widening four miles of SR 522 from Snohomish River to the city of Monroe to four lanes, including construction of four new bridges, a median barrier, a roundabout at 164th St., a noise wall, a wildlife crossing and new lights and signs.
The project is almost complete, but there are some significant traffic alterations ongoing.
The SR 522 ramp to eastbound US 2 will be closed around-the-clock until 12:01 a.m. Thursday, August 21 for bridge repaving. Drivers will follow a short detour to access US 2. (See sidebar).
Also, until Friday, Aug. 1, a single lane of 164th Street at the SR 522 interchange will be closed from 8 p.m. to 5 a.m. nightly for utility and drainage work., and a single lane of SR 522 from Fales/Echo Lake Road to US 2 will be closed from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. nightly for paving work.
The entire project is slated for completion this fall.
WSDOT started paving a stretch of SR 203 from Monroe to Carnation this spring. That has meant single-lane closures along SR 203, and the state has been working on the section between Monroe and Duvall through July.
When it’s finished, that 12-mile stretch of SR 203 will have a new layer of asphalt and new striping. The project will continue through September.
Soon to come
Widening SR 522 from Paradise Lake Road to the Snohomish River
The state Department of Transportation had planned to begin widening SR 52 to four lanes from Paradise Lake Road in Maltby to the Snohomish River this month, but the project is on hold until it gets enough funding to complete the design and construction.
The project is supposed to decrease commute times and increase safety.
Once funded, it will complete the widening of all of SR 522 between Woodinville and Monroe to four lanes.