Local Information

A roundabout, fish passage and new pavement on SR 9, oh my!

Thursday, May 31, 2018 - 08:21

Andrea E. Petrich, communications, 360-757-5963
Shane Spahr, project engineer, 360-848-7103

There’s no place like home as four projects ramp up in Skagit County

SEDRO-WOOLLEY – It might not be the yellow brick road but a new roundabout, improved fish passage, more than 10 miles of highway preservation resurfacing and more than a half-dozen upgraded highway crossing areas will help State Route 9 and SR 20 travelers between Big Lake and Sedro-Woolley safely find their way home.

The four Washington State Department of Transportation projects along this stretch of Skagit County highway will improve safety, reduce congestion, preserve highways, create smoother commutes and improve accessibility. Crews will work to minimize delays and keep traffic moving, but travelers can help by knowing what is ahead and avoiding nonessential trips during working hours.

Balancing projects and closure hours
The construction crews for these projects are balancing closure hours and work zone locations to minimize the delays for travelers whenever possible.

“We know four projects in a 12-mile stretch is a lot of construction,” said WSDOT Project Engineer Shane Spahr. “We appreciate the help from everyone in these communities who are staying engaged with the work, sharing the information and whenever possible, limiting discretionary trips through the area. A little effort from everyone will help minimize delays.”

SR 9 and SR 20 Sedro-Woolley area paving
On Monday, June 4 WSDOT contractor crews from Granite Construction will start work on a paving and sidewalk-crossing improvement project through Sedro-Woolley. Crews will improve crossing ramps at nine intersections, repave a 3-mile stretch of SR 20 from SR 9 to Fruitdale Road and a 1-mile stretch of SR 9/Township Street.

Work schedule

  • Crews will work nightly from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. Mondays through Fridays, when work requires them to close a lane.  If they need to close a lane on SR 9 prior to school getting out for summer vacation, they will have lanes reopened by 5 a.m.
  • They may work overnight beginning at 7 p.m. on some Sundays, as needed.
  • Crews will do most sidewalk ramp work during the days, without closing a highway lane. Some pedestrian detours should be expected.

SR 9 and Francis/Old Day Creek roads roundabout
On Monday, June 11, crews from SRV Construction will start work on a new roundabout at this intersection in Clear Lake, which connects Cascade Foothills communities with Mount Vernon. This is also an important intersection for Clear Lake Elementary School parents and buses.

Work schedule

  • Crews will alternate traffic through this intersection daily from 6 p.m. to 4 p.m. the following day, Monday through Friday. All lanes on SR 9 will remain open from 4 to 6 p.m.
  • Crews will close Francis Road for five days during this work. That closure will begin as soon as summer vacation begins. Travelers will use a signed detour via Swan and Mud Lake roads.
  • Crews will close Old Day Creek Road for 21 days during this work. That closure will begin in late June and continue into July. Travelers will use a signed detour via North Front Street.

SR 9 Gribble Creek fish passage
In July, contractor crews from Interwest Construction will start work on a fish passage improvement project north of Big Lake. Crews will replace the small round culvert and a downstream arch culvert, which are a barrier to fish, with one 72 feet long, 19 feet wide and 15 feet high, to improve fish habitat. This work is in response to a 2013 U.S. District Court ruling that WSDOT remove barriers to fish passage under state highways.

Five-day closure

  • Crews will need a five day, around-the-clock, closure of SR 9 to safely complete this work. That closure will happen in late July or early August. The detour around this closure will use SR 534, I-5 and SR 538.
  • In advance of that closure, travelers should expect a week of around-the-clock alternating traffic through this area.

SR 9 resurfacing work
Contractor crews from Granite Construction will resume work on SR 9 in July. Many travelers experienced delays while crews did the first few stages of work this spring. With crack sealing, pavement repair and fog sealing complete, crews will return once the weather is warmer to spread a new thin protective surface on SR 9 between the south end of Big Lake and Sedro-Woolley.

What to expect

  • Drivers should plan for long delays, often 30 minutes or more, during this stage of resurfacing work.
  • Crew will work during the hottest parts of the day, usually 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday.
  • Resurfacing work is a moving operation and includes a work zone up to two miles long.
  • A pilot car and flaggers will alternate traffic through the area.
  • Cyclists should consider alternate routes during this work. Crews will avoid adding this new surface to the shoulders, wherever possible, to help maintain a smoother ride for cyclists once it is complete.

Navigating work zones
People who live, work or have errands along these work zones should use caution and slower speeds when crossing through fresh surfaces. Driving too fast across the resurfacing or striping materials could spray it onto vehicles.

Those needing to leave driveways within the work zone should wait for the pilot car and line of traffic, then follow it out in the desired direction of travel. If there are no pilot cars, work with flaggers or other staff to make sure it is safe to drive to or from your destination.

Stay engaged
Clicking ruby slippers together won’t let you bypass this construction work but staying engaged can help you navigate it. Changes to schedules and work hours can occur. Know the latest by signing up for weekly project emails, check schedules the week before and check for day-of lane closures online, through the WSDOT app or by calling the 511 automated phone system.

Get Our Mobile App

  • Our Android and iPhone apps include statewide traffic cameras, travel alerts, mountain pass reports, ferry schedules and alerts, northbound Canadian border wait times and more.