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Monday, June 13, 2011
Jeff Switzer, WSDOT SR 520 Communications, 206-770-3547 (Seattle) or 206-819-7230 (cell)
Updated June 16 to include I-5 and I-90 express lane schedules (see below).
Construction closing SR 520 from Montlake Boulevard to I-405; I-5 ramps closing at Mercer Street
SEATTLE – Drivers can expect region-wide congestion Father’s Day weekend as construction completely closes the State Route 520 floating bridge and highway and the Interstate 5 ramps to and from Mercer Street in Seattle.
“Whether you’re headed to the Mariners’ games, the Fremont Solstice Parade and Fair or celebrating Father’s Day, we’re asking drivers to plan ahead for major traffic delays on all Puget Sound highways,” said Brian Dobbins, WSDOT construction engineer for the SR 520 Eastside Transit and HOV Project.
As drivers think about alternate routes the weekend of June 17 through 20, they should expect the heaviest traffic midday Saturday and Sunday on I-5 and I-90 heading into Seattle, and on I-405 approaching I-90.
- Crews will close all lanes on SR 520 from 11 p.m. Friday, June 17, to 5 a.m. Monday, June 20, between Montlake Boulevard in Seattle and Interstate 405 in Bellevue. Details of the closure and detour maps are online. Night work is planned, and neighbors near the work zone are likely to hear construction noise.
- All SR 520 ramps in the construction zone also will close, except for the 108th Avenue Northeast on-ramp to eastbound SR 520.
- SR 520 from I-5 to Montlake Boulevard will remain open to traffic.
I-5 Mercer Street ramps
- The City of Seattle is closing the I-5 on- and off-ramps at Mercer Street at 11 p.m. Friday, June 17, and reopening them at 5 a.m. Monday, June 20. Project information is on the Seattle Department of Transportation website.
I-90 and I-5 express lane operations
- The I-90 express lanes will be open westbound from 8 a.m. Saturday, June 18, to 2 p.m. Sunday, June 19.
- The I-5 express lanes will be open southbound from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, June 18, and then switch to northbound from 4 p.m. to 11 p.m.
- I-5 express lanes will be open on a normal schedule on Sunday, June 19: southbound from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. and northbound from 2 p.m. to 11 p.m.
- Key alternate routes for drivers heading into Seattle from the south end include SR 509, SR 599, East Marginal Way South, Airport Way South and Fourth Avenue South. The typical express lane schedule is posted here, with this weekend’s altered schedule here.
Planned SR 520 construction
Crews will close SR 520 for construction on the Eastside, as well as geotechnical drilling near Montlake Boulevard, drawspan testing on the floating bridge and installation of a large tolling sign near the east highrise.
The centerpieces of the SR 520 weekend work on the Eastside are the demolition of a pedestrian bridge near Medina and the installation of a massive prebuilt concrete fish-passable culvert in Bellevue.
Crews must quickly carve a 30-foot-deep trench across all lanes of SR 520 west of Bellevue Way Northeast and install concrete panels spanning 130 feet. The trench will be refilled and paved in time for Monday’s morning commute. The new, larger culvert will improve fish migration and is the first of eight culverts crossing SR 520 that will be installed between Medina and Bellevue during the next three years.
Other work this weekend includes precutting the highway for future culvert installations, removing two overhead electronic sign gantries and constructing a temporary combined off-ramp to Bellevue Way Northeast.
An estimated 11,250 drivers exit the highway to Bellevue Way Northeast each day, and they will begin using the reconfigured off-ramps and temporary intersection beginning Monday, June 20. A permanent intersection will be built during the next two years as part of a rebuilt Bellevue Way interchange.
“Crews will be packing in a lot of work this weekend on SR 520, and we’ll have several more weekend closures to continue construction,” Dobbins said. “The next complete closure of the floating bridge and highway is just a few weeks away, from July 8 through 11. Taking advantage of weekend-long closures for major construction allows us to keep traffic flowing for commuters and businesses during the work week.”
The Eastside Transit and HOV Project will widen SR 520 to six lanes from Medina to Bellevue. The project includes rebuilding interchanges, installing fish-passable culverts, and building highway lids and transit stops in the center of the highway. WSDOT awarded the $306 million design-build contract to Eastside Corridor Constructors (ECC), a joint venture of Granite Construction Company and PCL Construction Services.
Complete SR 520 highway construction closures are limited to no more than 20 weekends during the next three years. The completed corridor is scheduled to be open to traffic in December 2013.
Tools for drivers
More information about the project is online at www.wsdot.wa.gov/Projects/SR520Bridge/MedinaTo202/default.htm.
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