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Wednesday, March 30, 2011
Seema Javeri, WSDOT Project Engineer, (425) 889-0244
Steve Peer, WSDOT Communications, (425) 301-2023
BELLEVUE – Busy I-405 between N.E. Eight Street and SR 520 in Bellevue will close for 53 hours this weekend while crews remove the old N.E. 12th Street Bridge. The full closure will begin at 11 p.m., Friday, April 1 and end by 4 a.m., Monday, April 4. To help prevent region-wide gridlock, drivers should delay discretionary trips, take alternate routes, and plan for delays throughout the Puget Sound area.
“We need to close I-405 for the safety of our workers and drivers while crews remove the N.E. 12th Street Bridge,” said Seema Javeri, WSDOT Project Engineer. “Although this is a large-scale weekend closure, we’ll work around the clock to have the freeway open in time for the Monday morning commute.”
Crews are removing the bridge as part of the $107.5 million Bellevue Braids Project, funded by the federal American Recovery and Reinvestment Act and the 2005 gas tax. Drivers currently face eight hours of congestion a day on northbound I-405 between N.E. Eighth Street and SR 520. When the project is completed next year, new ramps will help improve safety and reduce delays by separating merging and exiting traffic.
During the I-405 closure, huge excavators with special attachments (crunchers and breakers) will crunch down the old bridge. Crews also will use smaller machines with breakers, loaders and trash trucks to break apart and haul away debris that will be recycled locally.
Crews are replacing the bridge with a new one that is higher above I-405, wider, and longer. The new bridge, slated to open in the summer of 2012, will provide space for new northbound ramps to pass under the structure on their way to SR 520 and I-405 and will feature a pedestrian and bicycle trail separated from traffic.
Construction crews will take advantage of the I-405 closure by working on several other special projects along the freeway that would have required separate closures. They will replace concrete road panels, pave, and install a sign bridge.
Keeping traffic moving
WSDOT will do everything possible to keep traffic moving during the weekend closure:
- Downtown Bellevue will be open for business, with several alternate southbound routes available.
- Northbound I-405, and northbound off-ramps south of the closure, including N.E. Eighth Street, will be open to downtown Bellevue
- The I-90 express lanes will be open in the westbound direction all weekend long.
- The I-5 express lanes, typically closed at night, will remain open around the clock.
- Detour routes will be clearly signed
Several freeway on- and off-ramps in Bellevue will close during the weekend, along with N.E. 12th Street from 112th Avenue N.E. to 116th Avenue N.E. For details and detour routes, visit www.wsdot.wa.gov/Projects/I405/NE8thtoSR520/NE12th.htm
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