Sullivan: Tussling with the future of the US Route 2 trestle

May 28, 2024, 6:27 AM | Updated: 7:17 am

US Route 2 trestle...

US Route 2 trestle from Lake Stevens to Everett (Photo: Chris Sullivan, KIRO Newsradio)

(Photo: Chris Sullivan, KIRO Newsradio)

The US Route 2 trestle from Lake Stevens to Everett needs some TLC, and the state is looking for your input on its future.

Ask anyone who lives in Lake Stevens what it’s like to get onto the trestle during peak hours, and you’ll likely hear a few swear words. It jams up every morning heading westbound and every afternoon eastbound.

It just doesn’t have the capacity to handle all the people that now live east of Interstate 5 (I-5) along Highway 9. The original bridge was built in the 1930s. It served both directions. A new westbound trestle was completed in 1969. The original bridge, which was eastbound, was replaced in 2001. Now it’s time to replace the westbound trestle.

More from Chokepoints: Sound Transit CEO says ‘it’s my job to restore confidence’ in public transit

Study No. 6 is now underway, with a focus on improving the westbound connection to I-5 which cannot handle today’s traffic.

“The number of westbound lanes has limited capacity at the southbound I-5,” Maraea Skeen, a public information officer for WSDOT, said. “What can we do for the potential for managed lanes,  such as HOV, active transportation,  access to downtown Everett and just generally moving people through the corridor.”

The agency wants your feedback on what potential improvements should be.

“We are at the point where we’re we’re evaluating the needs of what the community needs from the trestle,” Skeen added.

We’re so early in the process that there are no definitive replacement plans or drawings. Earlier projections put building a new three-lane westbound trestle at $1-2 billion, with a lot of that money coming from tolls on the corridor. This public input will help WSDOT direct its plans.

“The feedback from this open house will help us to streamline the process into that review, but it will still be several years before construction will take shape,” Skeen said.

More from Chris Sullivan: Seattle’s traffic circles are not roundabouts

I would put the over/under on when something might be built and completed at about 10 years. The environmental review will be lengthy. The trestle goes across Ebey Island, and that includes crossing the Snohomish River, Ebey Slough and Deadwater Slough.

The online open house will take feedback through June 7.

Check out more of Chris’ Chokepoints here. You can also follow Chris on X, formerly known as TwitterHead here to follow KIRO Newsradio Traffic’s profile on X.


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Sullivan: Tussling with the future of the US Route 2 trestle