Construction season is year-round throughout the Pacific Northwest

Construction season is year-round throughout the Pacific Northwest
Construction season is year-round throughout the Pacific Northwest


UPDATED: 7 MARCH 2023 AT 05.31

There is no such thing as construction season. There is so much work to be done around the state that the orange cones are going to be with us around the calendar.

It used to be so predictable. When the weather turned in October, the orange cones and vests would go dormant until about April. We’ve seen that off-hours shrink and shrink over the years to the point where the Washington Department of Transportation’s Tom Pearce said it’s just one long season — all year.

“The construction season starts early this year and that’s going to be the norm,” Pearce said. “We’re going to see a lot more work continue through the winter, whenever possible, because we only have so many projects coming up over the coming years.”

WSDOT to address I-5 chokepoints between Everett, Marysville

And this week is a good example of how things have changed.

Projects up and down Interstate 5 are racing to capacity before the next colossal restoration project between Seattle and Northgate begins later this year.

The Seneca project, which will add about 1,500 feet of lane to northbound I-5, is going to do some overnight work this week. Only one lane of northbound I-5 will be open from midnight to 4 a.m. Tuesday night through Thursday night.

“We’re going to keep the (northbound) express lanes open to help with this situation,” said Amy Moreno of the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT).

The collector-distributor lanes will close after the Madison exit, so westbound I-90 drivers must exit or continue to 4th Avenue or Edgar Martinez Way.

Up I-5, between Everett and Marysville, there are three projects underway this week.

The first is overnight lane closures on northbound I-5 to restore the shoulder between Marine View Drive and State Route 529. This is for the new HOV lane we talked about last week.

A little further south, WSDOT’s Pearce said there will be 8 to 6 a.m. northbound I-5 lane closures for expansion joint replacement through Thursday night.

There will also be northbound I-5 lane closures under the 12th Street overpass later this month. It was hit by an over-height truck and the work is not finished. The crossing is the first north of the Snohomish River. That work must be completed by the end of the month.

And over in Bellevue, people who use Eastgate Park and Ride or attend Bellevue College need to be prepared for five weeks without Eastgate Way.

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An overpass near the park and ride was hit by an overhanging truck and needs to be fixed. Eastgate Way closed Monday.

“If you’re going to the park and riding, you have to approach from the west,” Pearce said. “We have a detour set up that takes you around and over to the south side of I-90, and then you can get around that way.”

This is also a good reminder to give these workers plenty of room when passing through construction zones.

Check out more of Chris’ Chokepoints.

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