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Tuesday, October 11, 2011
Jeff Switzer, WSDOT SR 520 Communications, 206-770-3547 (Seattle) or 206-819-7230 (cell)
Cranes to install 24 girders in Medina following Husky game and through weekend
BELLEVUE – Construction crews will close the State Route 520 bridge and highway Saturday night through Monday morning to set 24 massive concrete girders as part of a new overpass in Medina. Husky fans will still be able to get to and from the game before the road closes for construction.
Crews will close all SR 520 ramps and highway lanes at 8 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 15, from Montlake Boulevard in Seattle to I-405 in Bellevue. Lanes will reopen by 5 a.m. Monday, Oct. 17. SR 520 will remain open between I-5 and Montlake Boulevard, and from I-405 east to Redmond.
The University of Washington football game begins at 12:30 p.m. Saturday, giving fans plenty of time to travel after the game before SR 520 closes at 8 p.m. for construction. Soccer fans also can cross SR 520 to get to the 7:30 p.m. Saturday Sounders game, but will need to find another way across or around the lake after the game.
“While the highway is closed this weekend, drivers need to have a plan so they can avoid delays on alternate routes,” said Brian Dobbins, Washington State Department of Transportation construction manager for the SR 520 Eastside Transit and HOV Project. “Installing these girders requires parking two large cranes on the highway and very precise work. Crews will focus on working quickly and carefully to complete the installation in time to reopen the highway to traffic Monday morning.”
WSDOT encourages drivers to plan ahead when considering weekend travel. As many as 165,000 weekend drivers who typically travel SR 520 must seek alternate routes across and around Lake Washington. The heaviest traffic is expected on Interstates 5 and 90 heading into Seattle and on I-405 approaching I-90. WSDOT is adjusting the I-90 express lane schedules Sunday to help improve traffic flow.
Besides using two cranes to set girders in Medina, crews also plan to create a median work zone area east of 84th Avenue Northeast to begin work on a highway overpass similar to the one under construction at Evergreen Point Road. On Monday morning, eastbound drivers can expect a slight lane shift as they approach and pass the new work area.
SR 520 closure details at a glance
- SR 520 mainline and floating bridge: All lanes and ramps in both directions between Montlake Boulevard in Seattle and I-405 in Bellevue close from 8 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 15, to 5 a.m. Monday, Oct. 17.
- SR 520 ramps: All SR 520 ramps in the construction zone closed through the weekend, except the 108th Avenue Northeast ramp to eastbound SR 520 remains open.
- Still open: SR 520 remains open to traffic from I-5 to Montlake Boulevard, and from I-405 east to Redmond.
- Closure information and detour maps are online.
Night work is planned, and residents near the work zone are likely to hear construction noise. Weekend closure details are available at www.wsdot.wa.gov/Projects/SR520Bridge/WeekendClosures.
Special I-90 express-lane operations
Sunday, Oct. 16
SR 520 Eastside project overview
The Eastside Transit and HOV project will widen SR 520 to six lanes from Medina to Bellevue. The project includes rebuilding interchanges, building highway lids and transit stops in the center of the highway and installing fish-passable culverts. 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 open to traffic in December 2013.
Tools for drivers
More information about the SR 520 Eastside project is online at www.wsdot.wa.gov/Projects/SR520Bridge/MedinaTo202.
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