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Author Topic: Washington  (Read 89148 times)

jakeroot

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Washington
« on: May 21, 2016, 01:56:31 PM »

This is an all-encompassing Washington State thread. Anything related to Washington, not likely needing its own thread, should go here.

The following users are knowledgeable with regards to Washington State's transport network:

- myself (jakeroot)
- Kacie Jane
- Bruce (AKA SounderBruce)
- kkt
- KEK, Inc
- thefraze_1020
- mcarling
- Bickendon
- corco
- Ace10
- TEG24601
- Tarkus
- JasonOfORoads
- Thunderbyrd316
- opspe
- Henry
- compdude787
- ErmineNotyours
- stevashe
« Last Edit: September 16, 2019, 05:06:35 AM by jakeroot »
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jakeroot

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Re: Washington
« Reply #1 on: May 21, 2016, 02:03:13 PM »

WSDOT has been improving the I-5/SR-161/SR-18 triangle for several years, with more improvements expected once funding arrives: http://goo.gl/qihrdf

The two notable changes:

1) a roundabout for the I-5 off-ramp to SR-161/S 356 St -- this exit does not currently exist (only SR-18 can access 161 directly):



2) The off-ramps from SB I-5 directly to SR-18 will be re-aligned into the mess below. Apparently, the loop ramp is too tight. I disagree but whatever. If it were me, I would have kept the loop ramp, and re-aligned the off-ramp towards SR-18 West so that the merge was closer to the overpass over 18 (currently it is aligned around the now non-existent cloverleaf ramp that was replaced by a flyover). The merge would be soon enough that I think they could remove the signal, which presently causes some pretty significant delays westbound along 18. A big reason for the signal is because of all the cars turning left onto 161. Once the new off-ramp to S 356 is constructed, there won't be as much traffic using that first off-ramp, so I think they could safely bring back the traditional merge that once existed:

« Last Edit: May 21, 2016, 02:07:07 PM by jakeroot »
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Bruce

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Re: Washington
« Reply #2 on: May 21, 2016, 07:23:44 PM »

For the past few weeks, WSDOT has been conducting weekend lane closures and reductions on Interstate 5 between Everett and Marysville as part of a project to repair 41 expansion joints on the bridges crossing sloughs in the area. It's been horrific, and some have even called it worse than the viaduct closure.

Worst part is that there was 0 mitigation. No shuttles, no encouragement to use transit (or extra service), nothing. It would've been wise to run a daily Sounder train to Marysville (using a temporary platform somewhere) to bypass the slowdowns on I-5 and SR 529 (where traffic spilled over, disrupting bus service to the train).

jakeroot

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Re: Washington
« Reply #3 on: May 21, 2016, 08:30:03 PM »

For the past few weeks, WSDOT has been conducting weekend lane closures and reductions on Interstate 5 between Everett and Marysville as part of a project to repair 41 expansion joints on the bridges crossing sloughs in the area. It's been horrific, and some have even called it worse than the viaduct closure.

Worst part is that there was 0 mitigation. No shuttles, no encouragement to use transit (or extra service), nothing. It would've been wise to run a daily Sounder train to Marysville (using a temporary platform somewhere) to bypass the slowdowns on I-5 and SR 529 (where traffic spilled over, disrupting bus service to the train).

I've been hearing about those closures on the news. I thought they would have finished the repairs by now? I'm glad I'm able to avoid it by, well, not living anywhere near Marysville or Everett. But it appears WSDOT spent all of their PR money on the viaduct closure.

Have temporary train platforms been used before? I've never heard of that happening, but it seems like a great idea.
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Bruce

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Re: Washington
« Reply #4 on: May 21, 2016, 09:13:38 PM »

For the past few weeks, WSDOT has been conducting weekend lane closures and reductions on Interstate 5 between Everett and Marysville as part of a project to repair 41 expansion joints on the bridges crossing sloughs in the area. It's been horrific, and some have even called it worse than the viaduct closure.

Worst part is that there was 0 mitigation. No shuttles, no encouragement to use transit (or extra service), nothing. It would've been wise to run a daily Sounder train to Marysville (using a temporary platform somewhere) to bypass the slowdowns on I-5 and SR 529 (where traffic spilled over, disrupting bus service to the train).

I've been hearing about those closures on the news. I thought they would have finished the repairs by now? I'm glad I'm able to avoid it by, well, not living anywhere near Marysville or Everett. But it appears WSDOT spent all of their PR money on the viaduct closure.

Have temporary train platforms been used before? I've never heard of that happening, but it seems like a great idea.

The closures are supposed to last until June. There have been a few delays and cancelled work weekends because of weather, but it's been on-time overall thanks to that huge dry spell we had.

I don't think that ST has ever used temporary platforms for something like this. There's been "temporary" platforms that were built just like a permanent one and used in the early days of Sounder while stations were being prepared, but other than that it hasn't been seen around here.

opspe

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Re: Washington
« Reply #5 on: May 21, 2016, 09:21:25 PM »

The old station in Tukwila seemed pretty temporary if I recall, lots of coated plywood.  There's some sidings in Marysville north of 4th that might have worked for that, but they're probably unusable due to lack of maintenance.

Very unrelated : does anyone remember an erroneous sign in downtown Port Angeles, where SR 112 was mistakenly signed as US 112?
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Ace10

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Re: Washington
« Reply #6 on: May 22, 2016, 07:12:46 PM »

Add me to the list of members having some connection to Washington. Though I live south of the Columbia now, I did live for a year in Vancouver and have driven a few times to Seattle and up to/in BC.
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TEG24601

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Re: Washington
« Reply #7 on: May 23, 2016, 01:54:35 PM »

For the past few weeks, WSDOT has been conducting weekend lane closures and reductions on Interstate 5 between Everett and Marysville as part of a project to repair 41 expansion joints on the bridges crossing sloughs in the area. It's been horrific, and some have even called it worse than the viaduct closure.

Worst part is that there was 0 mitigation. No shuttles, no encouragement to use transit (or extra service), nothing. It would've been wise to run a daily Sounder train to Marysville (using a temporary platform somewhere) to bypass the slowdowns on I-5 and SR 529 (where traffic spilled over, disrupting bus service to the train).


Hell, I'd go so far as to say that the Sounder should be running, all the time, from Stanwood to Seattle, with a stop in Marysville.  Also, expand operational times to outside commute times, and add holiday runs.  If they did that, I'd be much more inclined to go to Seattle to "hang out".

The old station in Tukwila seemed pretty temporary if I recall, lots of coated plywood.  There's some sidings in Marysville north of 4th that might have worked for that, but they're probably unusable due to lack of maintenance.


The Tukwilla station predated 9/11 and was still partially partially plywood until after 2012, if I recall.
« Last Edit: May 23, 2016, 01:59:15 PM by TEG24601 »
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Bruce

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Re: Washington
« Reply #8 on: May 23, 2016, 03:09:53 PM »

For the past few weeks, WSDOT has been conducting weekend lane closures and reductions on Interstate 5 between Everett and Marysville as part of a project to repair 41 expansion joints on the bridges crossing sloughs in the area. It's been horrific, and some have even called it worse than the viaduct closure.

Worst part is that there was 0 mitigation. No shuttles, no encouragement to use transit (or extra service), nothing. It would've been wise to run a daily Sounder train to Marysville (using a temporary platform somewhere) to bypass the slowdowns on I-5 and SR 529 (where traffic spilled over, disrupting bus service to the train).


Hell, I'd go so far as to say that the Sounder should be running, all the time, from Stanwood to Seattle, with a stop in Marysville.  Also, expand operational times to outside commute times, and add holiday runs.  If they did that, I'd be much more inclined to go to Seattle to "hang out".

Stanwood might be a bit much, given that there isn't much out there. Marysville at least has 70K potential commuters and is growing faster than any other city in the metro area.

As for extra runs, that's up to BNSF, especially on the North Line. The negotiations for extending existing runs to Marysville would take longer than Link to Everett.

The South Line is similarly hampered, but there's been nice proposals to switch all freight traffic to the UPRR and triple-track the mainline and transfer it to ST (which would allow for a lot more scheduled trains).

jakeroot

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Re: Washington
« Reply #9 on: May 23, 2016, 05:20:03 PM »

As for extra runs, that's up to BNSF, especially on the North Line. The negotiations for extending existing runs to Marysville would take longer than Link to Everett.

If they want extra runs, I think they need to build some sort of retaining wall between the tracks and the hillside north of Seattle. Seems like every other week during the winter, a slide closes the tracks.
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Bruce

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Re: Washington
« Reply #10 on: May 24, 2016, 12:15:08 AM »

As for extra runs, that's up to BNSF, especially on the North Line. The negotiations for extending existing runs to Marysville would take longer than Link to Everett.

If they want extra runs, I think they need to build some sort of retaining wall between the tracks and the hillside north of Seattle. Seems like every other week during the winter, a slide closes the tracks.

WSDOT and BNSF spent most of last summer doing exactly that. Lots of mudslide mitigation work that seems to have worked, given the huge reduction in Sounder North cancellations this past winter (the wettest on record).

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Re: Washington
« Reply #11 on: May 24, 2016, 02:09:48 AM »

You can add me to the "connected to Washington" list.  Lived in Ellensburg from 2004 to 2006, and even had a Washington Driver's License during that time.  I'm more familiar with the eastern side of the state, plus Vancouver.  Oddly enough, I've only been "through" (but not "to") Seattle twice.
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Kacie Jane

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Re: Washington
« Reply #12 on: May 24, 2016, 03:19:41 AM »

I don't think that ST has ever used temporary platforms for something like this. There's been "temporary" platforms that were built just like a permanent one and used in the early days of Sounder while stations were being prepared, but other than that it hasn't been seen around here.

There were talks of putting a temporary platform in University Place for the U.S. Open at Chambers Bay, but they couldn't get contracts with BNSF (I think?) worked out in time.

Hell, I'd go so far as to say that the Sounder should be running, all the time, from Stanwood to Seattle, with a stop in Marysville.  Also, expand operational times to outside commute times, and add holiday runs.  If they did that, I'd be much more inclined to go to Seattle to "hang out".

The ridership on the "North Line" just isn't there to support pouring more money into it.  (The Mukilteo station improvements are somewhat of an exception, since it's part of a multimodal project with the ferry terminal.)  The South Line packs their trains, and there's some talk of running midday service there if they can afford to purchase slots, but no such talk north of Seattle.
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Bruce

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Re: Washington
« Reply #13 on: May 24, 2016, 09:51:10 PM »

Hell, I'd go so far as to say that the Sounder should be running, all the time, from Stanwood to Seattle, with a stop in Marysville.  Also, expand operational times to outside commute times, and add holiday runs.  If they did that, I'd be much more inclined to go to Seattle to "hang out".

The ridership on the "North Line" just isn't there to support pouring more money into it.  (The Mukilteo station improvements are somewhat of an exception, since it's part of a multimodal project with the ferry terminal.)  The South Line packs their trains, and there's some talk of running midday service there if they can afford to purchase slots, but no such talk north of Seattle.

The South Line has the advantage of being a fast, relatively direct route for the Green River Valley, since the buses take a while to make the east-west connection to I-5. Ridership for Tacoma isn't as high, given the relatively direct buses from downtown and the Dome TC to Seattle.

The North Line has the reverse, with buses taking a fast, more direct route that ultimately ends up being a shorter commute for anyone who doesn't work at Union Station. The only possible time advantages for Sounder over express buses would lie north/east of Everett because of two key bottlenecks (I-5 and the US 2/Hewitt Avenue Trestle).

The south corridor could adopt some of the bus restructures that the north went through, mainly consolation of off-peak runs into a single, more frequent route (512) while retaining peak hour routes (510/511/513).

Kacie Jane

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Re: Washington
« Reply #14 on: May 25, 2016, 02:56:46 AM »

The South Line has the advantage of being a fast, relatively direct route for the Green River Valley, since the buses take a while to make the east-west connection to I-5. Ridership for Tacoma isn't as high, given the relatively direct buses from downtown and the Dome TC to Seattle.

The North Line has the reverse, with buses taking a fast, more direct route that ultimately ends up being a shorter commute for anyone who doesn't work at Union Station. The only possible time advantages for Sounder over express buses would lie north/east of Everett because of two key bottlenecks (I-5 and the US 2/Hewitt Avenue Trestle).

Right, which is exactly my point.  Rail may be able to get people from Marysville and Snohomish (and points beyond) to Everett faster, but it will still get them from Everett to Seattle inefficiently as it follows a bulge in the shoreline prone to landslides.

The south corridor could adopt some of the bus restructures that the north went through, mainly consolation of off-peak runs into a single, more frequent route (512) while retaining peak hour routes (510/511/513).

Tacoma/Lakewood service has run like that since before Sound Transit was a thing, with the 594 providing consolidated off-peak service, and the 590/592/595 (and previously the 591 and 593) providing peak hour service to specific areas.

Anywhere else, before Sound Transit was a thing, off-peak express service wasn't a thing, so there wasn't/isn't anything to restructure.  Sound Transit added the 577/578 to Federal Way*, Auburn, and Puyallup.  Kent meanwhile is still waiting for something better than the 150.  (I don't think taking the 566 and transferring in Renton counts, especially since it doesn't run weekends.)

(*Federal Way had the 194, but it wasn't quite an express on the same level its current service is, and around the same time the 577 came to be, it was consolidated thanks to Link anyway.)
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TEG24601

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Re: Washington
« Reply #15 on: May 27, 2016, 04:35:46 PM »

Hell, I'd go so far as to say that the Sounder should be running, all the time, from Stanwood to Seattle, with a stop in Marysville.  Also, expand operational times to outside commute times, and add holiday runs.  If they did that, I'd be much more inclined to go to Seattle to "hang out".

The ridership on the "North Line" just isn't there to support pouring more money into it.  (The Mukilteo station improvements are somewhat of an exception, since it's part of a multimodal project with the ferry terminal.)  The South Line packs their trains, and there's some talk of running midday service there if they can afford to purchase slots, but no such talk north of Seattle.

The South Line has the advantage of being a fast, relatively direct route for the Green River Valley, since the buses take a while to make the east-west connection to I-5. Ridership for Tacoma isn't as high, given the relatively direct buses from downtown and the Dome TC to Seattle.

The North Line has the reverse, with buses taking a fast, more direct route that ultimately ends up being a shorter commute for anyone who doesn't work at Union Station. The only possible time advantages for Sounder over express buses would lie north/east of Everett because of two key bottlenecks (I-5 and the US 2/Hewitt Avenue Trestle).

The south corridor could adopt some of the bus restructures that the north went through, mainly consolation of off-peak runs into a single, more frequent route (512) while retaining peak hour routes (510/511/513).


The problem with the North Route is that it runs along the coast.  Most of the people North of Seattle live closer the I-5 and see the drive to Edmonds, Downtown Everett, or Mukliteo as either too far, or a major inconvenience.  If only the rail line that used to follow close by to I-5 had remained past the 70s (and currently part of the inner-urban trail, formerly the inner-urban rail) and could have been utilized, ridership would be much higher.


I will also add that some of the issues in the North have to deal with the sheer number of persons who work at Boeing, rather than downtown, coupled with people, at least from Whidbey, who purposely don't work 9-5 schedules to avoid traffic, and where a later series of trains (as well as more than one NB train in the morning) would be beneficial.  ST should actually study the need and desires of those they are supposed to serve, and not assume that what works south of Seattle can or will work north of Seattle.


As someone who does utilize transit when they can, I can say that there are also some issues with route planning, making it appear as though it is much more difficult to get around (at least in the north) than it really is.  There is no easy way to get from Mukilteo to Seattle or back, unless you take the Sounder, or actually look at the schedules on 3 different sites, since ST Bus isn't in Google Maps (only the Sounder), CT is only on CT's site or ST's site, and ET is only on ET's site.  So if you, like me, just use Google for your trip planning, because you were on vacation in Portland where everything is tied in together, and they only have one transit system, you could be forgiven for thinking you need a taxi or wait 4 hours for a train to get home, when in fact, you can take a bus to Everett Station, then transfer to an ET for 75 to get to your ferry, instead of $2+ on CT, which will take twice as long.  It is annoying.
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Bruce

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Re: Washington
« Reply #16 on: May 27, 2016, 05:16:31 PM »

Hell, I'd go so far as to say that the Sounder should be running, all the time, from Stanwood to Seattle, with a stop in Marysville.  Also, expand operational times to outside commute times, and add holiday runs.  If they did that, I'd be much more inclined to go to Seattle to "hang out".

The ridership on the "North Line" just isn't there to support pouring more money into it.  (The Mukilteo station improvements are somewhat of an exception, since it's part of a multimodal project with the ferry terminal.)  The South Line packs their trains, and there's some talk of running midday service there if they can afford to purchase slots, but no such talk north of Seattle.

The South Line has the advantage of being a fast, relatively direct route for the Green River Valley, since the buses take a while to make the east-west connection to I-5. Ridership for Tacoma isn't as high, given the relatively direct buses from downtown and the Dome TC to Seattle.

The North Line has the reverse, with buses taking a fast, more direct route that ultimately ends up being a shorter commute for anyone who doesn't work at Union Station. The only possible time advantages for Sounder over express buses would lie north/east of Everett because of two key bottlenecks (I-5 and the US 2/Hewitt Avenue Trestle).

The south corridor could adopt some of the bus restructures that the north went through, mainly consolation of off-peak runs into a single, more frequent route (512) while retaining peak hour routes (510/511/513).


The problem with the North Route is that it runs along the coast.  Most of the people North of Seattle live closer the I-5 and see the drive to Edmonds, Downtown Everett, or Mukliteo as either too far, or a major inconvenience.  If only the rail line that used to follow close by to I-5 had remained past the 70s (and currently part of the inner-urban trail, formerly the inner-urban rail) and could have been utilized, ridership would be much higher.


I will also add that some of the issues in the North have to deal with the sheer number of persons who work at Boeing, rather than downtown, coupled with people, at least from Whidbey, who purposely don't work 9-5 schedules to avoid traffic, and where a later series of trains (as well as more than one NB train in the morning) would be beneficial.  ST should actually study the need and desires of those they are supposed to serve, and not assume that what works south of Seattle can or will work north of Seattle.


As someone who does utilize transit when they can, I can say that there are also some issues with route planning, making it appear as though it is much more difficult to get around (at least in the north) than it really is.  There is no easy way to get from Mukilteo to Seattle or back, unless you take the Sounder, or actually look at the schedules on 3 different sites, since ST Bus isn't in Google Maps (only the Sounder), CT is only on CT's site or ST's site, and ET is only on ET's site.  So if you, like me, just use Google for your trip planning, because you were on vacation in Portland where everything is tied in together, and they only have one transit system, you could be forgiven for thinking you need a taxi or wait 4 hours for a train to get home, when in fact, you can take a bus to Everett Station, then transfer to an ET for 75 to get to your ferry, instead of $2+ on CT, which will take twice as long.  It is annoying.

ST shouldn't bend over and accommodate some outliers who aren't even in their taxing district. That's the job of Island Transit to lobby the state government for.

Serving Boeing is a tough problem to solve, since most of its employees live outside of the ST district (in the northern and eastern suburbs of Snohomish County, and well beyond) and the campus being so spread out. Expanding the current commuter bus system, with a few extra milk runs to major transit centers like Lynnwood TC, might be the best option.

Google Maps has CT, ST Express and Sounder since last May, so you don't have to use the mediocre regional trip planner unless you're headed through Everett Transit's territory. Everett Transit is far behind the curve, though, so it's unlikely they will be able to get their GTFS online until it's too late.

JasonOfORoads

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Re: Washington
« Reply #17 on: June 01, 2016, 03:56:17 AM »

Despite being from and currently living in Oregon, I did go to college in Washington for 4 years, so you can add me as well. I really wished I could've explored the unbuilt SR-7 freeway in Tacoma while I was up there.
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jakeroot

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Re: Washington
« Reply #18 on: June 01, 2016, 08:59:29 AM »

Despite being from and currently living in Oregon, I did go to college in Washington for 4 years, so you can add me as well. I really wished I could've explored the unbuilt SR-7 freeway in Tacoma while I was up there.

I drive through it on a regular basis, while I-5 is being rebuilt through Tacoma (so as to avoid the lane closures). I can tell from old satellite imagery that quite a lot of pavement has been ripped up that wasn't needed (specifically, the on and off ramps to the south). I would love to have seen an original route map, but I've never been able to find one.
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Re: Washington
« Reply #19 on: June 01, 2016, 06:37:32 PM »

What's the latest on the Highway 167 extension? Is it any closer to actually being constructed?
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jakeroot

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Re: Washington
« Reply #20 on: June 01, 2016, 07:11:28 PM »

What's the latest on the Highway 167 extension? Is it any closer to actually being constructed?

Oh it's getting built. WSDOT is currently finishing design work. Construction is set to begin in 2019, and should be fully complete by the early 2030s.
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jakeroot

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Re: Washington
« Reply #21 on: June 10, 2016, 02:44:20 PM »

The contract for the 167/405 HOV flyover was awarded a few days ago to Renton-based Guy F Atkinson Construction. Construction should begin this summer:

http://wsdot.wa.gov/News/2016/06/405167DCaward.htm



This is one of the first steps in a much larger project to convert the 405's HOV lanes to express lanes south of Bellevue. When complete, there will be two continuous toll lanes from the 167 near Renton to the 522 near Bothell. For those interested, there are several PDFs on WSDOT's website which visualize the Renton to Bellevue plans:

http://www.wsdot.wa.gov/Projects/I405/RentontoBellevue/
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Re: Washington
« Reply #22 on: June 10, 2016, 03:12:46 PM »

I only spent a week and a half there and only stayed west of the mountains, but I logged nearly 1,100 miles while exploring from Tumwater to Everett and I was pretty taken aback by the complete LACK of construction that I experienced. I'll just add that to the list of reasons why I'm trying to move there.
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jakeroot

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Re: Washington
« Reply #23 on: June 10, 2016, 03:57:20 PM »

I only spent a week and a half there and only stayed west of the mountains, but I logged nearly 1,100 miles while exploring from Tumwater to Everett and I was pretty taken aback by the complete LACK of construction that I experienced. I'll just add that to the list of reasons why I'm trying to move there.

There's very little construction in the winter, but once summer hits, all sorts of stuff starts happening. There are long stretches of freeway without any work, but there are some, like the 520, that have all sorts of work going on.

When were you here?
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8.Lug

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Re: Washington
« Reply #24 on: June 10, 2016, 05:51:13 PM »

When were you here?
19th-28th of last month. Have a friend in Rochester, WA which was named for Rochester, MI which was named for Rochester, NY our home town lol
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