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Tuesday, April 24, 2012
Jeff Switzer, WSDOT SR 520 Communications, 206-770-3547 (Seattle) or 206-819-7230 (cell)
Weekend crews will install 42 girders
SEATTLE – Cranes will hoist 42 huge concrete girders into position over State Route 520 this weekend, part of a project to build lidded overpasses and widen the highway to six lanes on the Eastside. To do the latest round of work, crews will close the highway and floating bridge between Seattle and Bellevue at 11 p.m. Friday, April 27.
This weekend, all SR 520 lanes and ramps will be closed between Montlake Boulevard in Seattle and Interstate 405 in Bellevue. Drivers will have to find another way across or around Lake Washington until SR 520 reopens 5 a.m. Monday, April 30. Alternate routes could see traffic delays during the heaviest travel times midday Saturday and Sunday.
An estimated 150 construction workers will be setting the girders, installing nearly 1,000 feet of drainage pipes beneath the highway and wrapping up demolition of the old Evergreen Point Road overpass.
As the centerpiece of the weekend work, crews and cranes will set 42 concrete girders weighing more than 1,400 tons for the future lidded overpass at 84th Avenue Northeast, said Brian Dobbins, construction engineer for the Washington State Department of Transportation’s SR 520 Eastside Transit and HOV Project. Crews installed 30 girders at this overpass in February.
“After this weekend, we will have installed more than 100 girders at the four overpasses we’re improving as part of this project,” Dobbins said. “That’s a great milestone, but we still have a lot of work between now and December 2013 to finish improving the SR 520 corridor with six lanes, transit stops and lidded overpasses.”
On Monday, changes along the highway workzone will shift buses to merge with general traffic west of 92nd Avenue Northeast, a move that allows westbound traffic a longer merge with improved visibility from the 84th Avenue Northeast on-ramp.
SR 520 closure details at a glance
- Mainline SR 520 and all connected ramps between Montlake Boulevard in Seattle and I-405 in Bellevue will be closed from 11 p.m. Friday, April 27, to 5 a.m. Monday, April 30.
- The 108th Avenue Northeast on-ramp to eastbound SR 520 will remain open to traffic.
- Two sections of SR 520 will remain open to traffic: I-5 to Montlake Boulevard and areas east of I-405.
While SR 520 is closed for the weekend, traffic is expected to be heavy midday Saturday and Sunday on I-5 and I-90 heading into Seattle and on I-405 approaching I-90. The express lane schedules will change this weekend on I-90 to maintain traffic flow.
Closure information and detour maps are online. Night work is planned, so residents near the work zone likely will hear construction noise. Weekend closure details are available at www.wsdot.wa.gov/Projects/SR520Bridge/WeekendClosures.
Special I-90 express lane operations April 28 and 29
The I-90 express lanes will be open westbound from 6 a.m. to 2 p.m. and eastbound after 3 p.m. both days this weekend.
The http://www.wsdot.wa.gov/Northwest/King/ExpressLanestypical express lane schedule is posted online, as well as this weekend’s altered schedule. Key alternate routes for drivers heading to Seattle from south King County include State Routes 509 and 599, East Marginal Way South, Airport Way South and Fourth Avenue South. Express lane details are available online at www.wsdot.wa.gov/Northwest/King/ExpressLanes/SpecialEvents.
SR 520 Eastside project overview
The Eastside Transit and HOV Project is widening SR 520 to six lanes between Medina and Bellevue. Crews are rebuilding interchanges, constructing highway lids and bus stops in the center of the highway and installing fish-passable culverts. In 2010, WSDOT awarded a $306-million design-build contract to Eastside Corridor Constructors, a joint venture of Granite Construction Company and PCL Construction Services.
Full closures of SR 520 for construction are limited during the next two years. The completed Medina to Bellevue 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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