Two paving projects between Sultan and Skykomish have ended nearly a month after the Washington State Department of Transportation projected completion.

The roadwork covered sections along U.S. Highway 2 that added up to about 25 miles and cost roughly $8.3 million combined. The agency announced work finished last Tuesday.

“It has been about 15 to 20 years since these stretches of US 2 were resurfaced, so we’re really excited to finish up these two projects and give drivers a smoother and safer surface to travel on,” said WSDOT regional administrator Lorena Eng in a news release. “We also know this important work caused some delays and altered schedules this summer and want to thank everyone for their patience.”

The improvements made this summer were intended to increase safety, improve passenger protection from uneven terrain and lengthen the life of the highway. They will also decrease the likelihood for emergency closures or more expensive repairs. The signs of age created unsafe conditions for drivers, such as pools of water freezing on the road, according to WSDOT.

“Cracks, ruts and potholes are littered throughout this stretch of highway,” according to the agency.

Issaquah-based construction company Lakeside Industries started resurfacing and pedestrian crossing upgrades between Sultan and Gold Bar in April. The $4 million project was planned to be completed by October.

Central Washington Asphalt, Inc., started work on its sections of the highway in July. The $4.4 million paving project covered nearly 17 miles. The Moses Lake-based company was expected to finish up this  fall.

In late September WSDOT reported roadwork was nearing its final days, as long as the good weather held. For many, it meant the end of running into frustrating traffic backups.

This summer, single lane closures took place between Gold Bar and Skykomish Junction, Eagle Falls to east of Baring, as well as Money Creek campground and Tye Creek. The eight-mile section near Skykomish received a coat of fresh asphalt, while the other two near Gold Bar were chip sealed.

The construction caused unexpected, lengthy delays. WSDOT revised and staggered work hours for crews in response to the nearly two-hour stalls.

No more highway paving is planned for next summer between Sultan and Skykomish. WSDOT does have one project in the works east of Sultan. Work will be done on the South Fork Skykomish Bridge to repair scouring on the structure. Dates have not yet been set.

However, the agency announced that “this year’s work is just the start,” in its release. The U.S. Highway 2 westbound trestle and both directions of the roadway between State Route 204 to Bickford Avenue in Snohomish will be repaved next summer.

In 2019, resurfacing U.S. Highway 2 from Bickford Avenue to the Sofie Road area in Monroe will take place during construction season, according to the release. Concrete barriers in the median from Bickford Avenue to the Pilchuck River Bridge will be added, and the median will be widened to six feet from the bridge to the Roosevelt Road area in Monroe.