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Construction closes SR 520 bridge, highway Feb. 24-27

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Date:  Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Contact: Jeff Switzer, WSDOT SR 520 Communications, 206-770-3547 (Seattle) or 206-819-7230 (cell)

Forty more girders on the way as lid, overpass construction continues

SEATTLE – Crews will install 40 massive concrete girders this weekend to support future lids and overpasses above State Route 520 on the Eastside, a challenging amount of work that requires closing the floating bridge and highway between Seattle and Bellevue.

SR 520 lanes and ramps will close at 11 p.m. Friday, Feb. 24, between Montlake Boulevard in Seattle and Interstate 405 in Bellevue. All lanes and ramps will reopen by 5 a.m. Monday, Feb 27. Bellevue Way also will close from 11 p.m. Friday to 5 p.m. Saturday between Northeast 32nd Place and Northup Way.

“We’re working on four overpasses this weekend, and drivers already can see the shape of what these highway improvements will look like when work is complete,” said Brian Dobbins, construction engineer for the Washington State Department of Transportation’s SR 520 Eastside Transit and HOV Project. “Crews have a full plate and an aggressive schedule for completing this weekend of work before the Monday morning commute.”

Major work will be completed at the Bellevue Way Northeast and 84th Avenue Northeast interchanges. Friday night, crews will place two large cranes on the highway at Bellevue Way to lift and place 10 concrete girders to form the foundation of the west half of the new, wider overpass. On Saturday workers will move the two cranes 1.5 miles west to 84th Avenue Northeast, where they will place up to 30 more girders. In all, the girders weigh more than 4 million pounds and end-to-end would stretch two-thirds of a mile.

With experience gained from each major weekend closure, crews are installing girders with ever-increasing efficiency, Dobbins said.

Crews also plan to swiftly install 288 prefabricated concrete deck panels this weekend for lidded overpasses at Evergreen Point Road and 92nd Avenue Northeast.

WSDOT encourages drivers to plan ahead before traveling this weekend. The heaviest traffic is expected midday Saturday and Sunday on Interstates 5 and 90 heading into Seattle and on I-405 approaching I-90. The express lane schedules will change this weekend on I-90 to help improve traffic flow.

SR 520 closure details at a glance

  • All ramps and mainline SR 520 will close between Montlake Boulevard in Seattle and I-405 in Bellevue from 11 p.m. Friday, Feb. 24, to 5 a.m. Monday, Feb 27.
  • Bellevue Way will close from 11 p.m. Friday to 5 p.m. Saturday between Northeast 32nd Place and Northup Way, in Bellevue.
  • The 108th Avenue Northeast on-ramp to eastbound SR 520 will remain open to drivers.
  • Two sections of SR 520 remain open to traffic: I-5 to Montlake Boulevard, and east of I-405.

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

Special I-90 express lane operations Saturday, Feb. 25, and Sunday, Feb. 26

  • The I-90 express lanes will be open westbound from 6 a.m. to 2 p.m., and eastbound after 3 p.m.
  • The typical express lane schedule is posted online, as well as this weekend’s altered schedule. Key alternate routes for drivers heading to Seattle from the south end include State Routes 509 and 599, East Marginal Way South, Airport Way South and Fourth Avenue South.
  • Express lane details can be found at

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, a joint venture of Granite Construction Company and PCL Construction Services.

Complete SR 520 highway construction closures are limited during the next two years. The completed corridor from Medina to Bellevue is scheduled to open to traffic in December 2013.

Tools for drivers

More information about the SR 520 Eastside project is online at

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