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Monday, June 20, 2011
Jeff Switzer, WSDOT SR 520 Communications, 206-770-3547 (Seattle) or 206-819-7230 (cell)
Flickr photos of the project are available online.
Next SR 520 weekend closure scheduled for July 8-11
SEATTLE – Crews reopened State Route 520 this morning after successfully completing a busy weekend of major construction projects. Another weekend closure of the highway is set for early July as part of a three-year project to widen the highway for better safety and travel reliability.
“Drivers helped to reduce congestion this weekend by changing how and where they traveled, and that allowed us to complete a long list of work,” said Brian Dobbins, Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) construction manager for the SR 520 Eastside Transit and HOV Project. The next weekend closure is planned July 8 through 11. By scheduling weekend-long closures for major construction, the highway stays open for commuters and businesses during the work week, Dobbins said.
As expected, weekend traffic was heavier than usual on Interstates 5, 90 and 405 as drivers traveled to Mariners games, the Fremont Solstice Parade and Festival and celebrated Father’s Day. In addition to the closure of SR 520 from I-405 to Montlake Boulevard, the I-5 ramps to and from Mercer Street closed all weekend for a city of Seattle project.
During the SR 520 weekend closure, demolition crews tore down a pedestrian bridge in Medina, and construction crews excavated a 30-foot-deep trench in Bellevue and installed a prebuilt concrete culvert to improve fish migration beneath the highway. Crews also built a new temporary off-ramp and intersection (pdf 630 kb) at Bellevue Way Northeast. The ramp will be used by an estimated 11,250 drivers daily. A permanent intersection will be built during the next two years as part of a new interchange.
While the highway was closed, maintenance crews also tested the floating bridge drawspan and a crew conducted geotechnical drilling just east of Montlake Boulevard. Construction crews also removed two overhead electronic sign gantries, precut the highway for future culvert work, and did maintenance along the highway, including sweeping and repairing guardrail and glare screens.
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.
More information about the project is online at www.wsdot.wa.gov/Projects/SR520Bridge/MedinaTo202/default.htm.
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