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Atkinson to Take On $123M Interchange Improvement Job

Tue May 03, 2022 - West Edition #10
WSDOT


The interchange improvement project includes a northbound ramp from I-5 to State Route 529; a ramp from SR 529 to southbound I-5; and extending the existing northbound HOV lane from its existing end near U.S. 2 in Everett to south of SR 529 in Marysville.
The interchange improvement project includes a northbound ramp from I-5 to State Route 529; a ramp from SR 529 to southbound I-5; and extending the existing northbound HOV lane from its existing end near U.S. 2 in Everett to south of SR 529 in Marysville.
The interchange improvement project includes a northbound ramp from I-5 to State Route 529; a ramp from SR 529 to southbound I-5; and extending the existing northbound HOV lane from its existing end near U.S. 2 in Everett to south of SR 529 in Marysville. A construction worker navigates her way down the SR 529 Snohomish River Bridge.

An improved interchange in Marysville and another lane for travelers on northbound Interstate 5 between Everett and Marysville is one step closer to reality with the selection of a project contractor.

Atkinson Construction LLC (formerly Guy F. Atkinson) will tackle the project after the Washington State Department of Transportation selected the firm during a competitive process that required qualified contractors to submit comprehensive proposals.

The $123.1 million project received funding through the 2015 Connecting Washington transportation package, a $16 billion investment in highway infrastructure.

The interchange improvements and high occupancy vehicle lane will be built using a design-build contract. Using this type of contract, WSDOT executes one contract with a single firm that is responsible for finishing design work and then building the project.

"Atkinson Construction submitted the best value proposal for an improved interchange and extending the northbound HOV lane," said Amir Rasaie, WSDOT assistant regional administrator of project design and development. "We look forward to working with them to build this project."

"This work will improve mobility for highway users, ease congestion and provide more access to and from Marysville," said Atkinson Senior Project Manager Reggie Wageman. "We intend to build a project that meets the needs of the community, minimizes effects on travelers and looks for efficiencies in design and construction to provide the best value for taxpayers."

Interchange, Corridor

The improvements include:

  • A northbound ramp from I-5 to State Route 529;
  • A ramp from SR 529 to southbound I-5;
  • Extending the existing northbound HOV lane from its existing end near U.S. 2 in Everett to south of SR 529 in Marysville.

Nearly 65,000 vehicles travel northbound on this section of I-5 each day. Drivers frequently experience long commute times. Data shows that almost 25 percent of the vehicles traveling northbound are eligible to use an HOV lane. To extend the HOV lane, the existing three general purpose lanes will be shifted to the right slightly and restriped, to create a total of four northbound lanes.

Construction is scheduled to begin in late 2022 with the improved interchange and HOV lane scheduled to open in 2025.

Project Needs, Benefit

The population of Snohomish County increased by more than 400,000 residents between 1980 and 2018. It's expected to gain another 200,000 residents by 2035. This explosive growth increased the number of vehicles using I-5 between Everett and Marysville, with approximately 65,000 vehicles traveling in the northbound direction alone each day. Drivers frequently experience heavy congestion and long commute times. In addition, traffic at the I-5/SR 529 interchange in Marysville often backs up, creating additional delays.

The 2015 Connecting Washington transportation package provided funding for:

  • A northbound peak-use shoulder lane between Marine View Drive in Everett and SR 528 in Marysville;
  • A northbound ramp from I-5 to SR 529;
  • A ramp from SR 529 to southbound I-5.

A construction worker navigates her way down the SR 529 Snohomish River Bridge.

WSDOT formed a Stakeholder Advisory Group (SAG) made up of representatives from area cities, agencies and tribes to make recommendations on how to reduce congestion. In August 2019, with feedback from the SAG, WSDOT selected a preferred alternative. WSDOT will build a permanent fourth lane for HOVs, extending the existing HOV lane in Everett to SR 529. The three general-purpose lanes will remain in place. WSDOT chose this alternative after studying data that shows a high percentage of HOV-eligible vehicles regularly travel through the area. In addition, WSDOT is looking into how the improved interchange can serve people who bike and walk on SR 529 between Marysville and Everett.

The benefits of a new HOV lane and an improved interchange include:

  • Improved access: A completed SR 529 interchange, with new connections between Marysville and I-5;
  • Congestion relief: A new HOV lane on northbound I-5 will reduce backups and improve traffic flow from Everett to Marysville on both weekdays and weekends;
  • HOV lane compatibility and cost: A new HOV lane is compatible with the existing HOV system between Tacoma and Everett and requires the lowest capital and operating costs;
  • Bikes and pedestrians: Bike and pedestrian access maintained on SR 529;
  • Restore fish habitat: To mitigate this project, WSDOT restored about 12.5 acres of saltwater marsh habitat.
Atkinson On I-5

Atkinson, in conjunction with the Washington State Department of Transportation, completed the second phase of construction to widen I-5 and rebuild intersections in 2021.

This construction benchmark — part of the $242 million project that rebuilt the Thorne Lane and Berkeley Street interchanges to allow for a wider I-5 — came two months after new high occupancy vehicle lanes opened.

"We thank residents, businesses, commuters and service members for their patience during this complex project," said Washington State Department of Transportation Regional Administrator John Wynands. "This project was a success because of the great cooperation with those who live and work in this area."

The Atkinson Construction team commented, "Atkinson Construction widened 5.25 miles of Interstate 5 to add a fourth general-purpose lane in each direction. Atkinson's team replaced the existing Thorne Lane and Berkeley Street interchanges and built grade-separated crossings over the adjacent Sound Transit railroad."




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