WSDOT proposes temporary fix to SR 9 congestion

WSDOT presented some new ideas on how to fix congestion on SR 9, even though there's almost no money for it.

SNOHOMISH, Wash. -- State transportation officials presented a trio of temporary fixes to State Route 9 Wednesday night, acknowledging millions of dollars in upgrades are needed, but the money simply is not available.

The highway, which has already benefited from millions in improvements, bottlenecks near between 176th St. SE and State Route 96 near Snohomish.

Those living in the Clearview neighborhood have dealt with routine afternoon backups where the traffic shrinks to one northbound lane.

"It takes me 20 minutes to get from Maltby to here," said Cindy Carpenter at a Washington State Department of Transportation forum inside Glacier Peak High School. "Everybody's road raged."

WSDOT said upgrading the final piece of SR 9 would cost around $60 million. However, right now the project only has $11 million, and most of that is set aside for design and right-of-way purchases.

So in the interim, the state is asking for public input on three temporary fixes, largely the trimming of shoulders and removal of some turn lanes.

WSDOT acknowledges, in some circumstances, these remedies only move the bottleneck somewhere else.

"People want the full project and the ultimate fix," said John White, WSDOT spokesperson. "We don't have the funding for that."

The state will decide which alternative to implement by the end of February.  Depending on which one is selected, work will be complete in the fall of 2017 or 2018.

© 2017 KING-TV


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