Down in Mount Vernon, Custom Concrete Contracting has been busy installing sidewalks and curbs for an ongoing project to improve College Way beneath Interstate 5.

The project is to widen College Way to add lanes and ease congestion at that oft-crowded intersection.

If you’ve ever tried to get on or off I-5 at College Way, you probably know that the intersection backs up frequently; turning vehicles often get stranded in the middle of the street, blocking traffic from other directions. In fact, that area is the busiest spot for traffic in the entire city.

Custom Concrete crews pouring concrete as part of the College Way widening project in 2020.

The overall project work includes modifications to traffic signals, the addition of two traffic lanes, improvements to the storm drains, updates to the I-5 bridge abutments, and the installation of curbs, gutters and sidewalks. Custom Concrete has completed its concrete work on the project, but the rest of the overall improvements are on hold until the weather allows for the rebuilding of the I-5 ramps on the north side. The portion of the work done by Custom Concrete’s top-notch installation crews included curbs, gutters, sidewalks and access for local businesses, such as concrete stairs up from the new sidewalk to parking lot level.

The completed project will include three lanes of traffic in each direction. Whether going east or west, travelers will have a dedicated turn lane for entering I-5 in addition to two through lanes.

Funding for the project came from the Federal Highway Administration, the Washington Transportation Improvement Board and a Skagit County economic development grant. Custom Concrete has been working as a subcontractor for Granite Construction on the project.

Plans for the project had been underway for a number of years. Reichhardt & Ebe Engineering Inc. was selected in late 2015 to engineer the project, and bidding for the construction was opened in late 2018.

If you want to check out this project in action, check out the two live webcams set up to show the area, at Market Street and Freeway Drive.

The College Way widening project is one of many government projects that Custom Concrete has been proud to work on. Another recent project recently completed by Custom Concrete’s crews is the roundabout at Banta Road and State Route 20 on Whidbey Island. Custom Concrete also installed sidewalks and created the heavy-duty concrete foundation for the 400,000-pound steel art installation at Whatcom Waterway Park in Bellingham.