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It’s time for another weekend-long closure of the SR 520 bridge

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Date:  Tuesday, July 10, 2012

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

Expect traffic delays midday Saturday and Sunday

SEATTLE – Get ready for another weekend of traffic congestion as crews close State Route 520 between Montlake Boulevard in Seattle and Interstate 405 in Bellevue for major highway construction and annual floating bridge maintenance.

The bridge and highway will be closed from 11 p.m. Friday, July 13, through 5 a.m. Monday, July 16. Traffic is expected to be heavier on alternate routes, especially I-90, as drivers head into Seattle for the Seattle-to-Portland bicycle ride, Mariners games, the milk carton derby at Green Lake and other events. The longest traffic delays are expected midday Saturday and Sunday.

The Washington State Department of Transportation and its contractors are tackling a lot of work, including demolishing an overpass, installing concrete panels and getting the floating bridge ready to weather the next storm season.

“Summer weather gives us a chance to take an in-depth look at the bridge and make sure it can safely and reliably operate in the coming year,” said Archie Allen, WSDOT bridge maintenance superintendent. Bridge maintenance crews will inspect, test and repair parts of the floating bridge and drawspan during the closure.

Meanwhile, construction crews working on the Eastside Transit and HOV project will demolish the 84th Avenue Northeast overpass and install 238 concrete panels at the new Evergreen Point Road lidded overpass. Crews also will completely close 108th Avenue Northeast between Northup Way and SR 520 to install a fish-friendly culvert.

Construction on culvert and creek improvements near Bellevue Way will require a change for drivers. When the highway reopens Monday morning, drivers on northbound Bellevue Way will no longer be able to enter westbound SR 520 from Bellevue Way. The access will be restored next year, and in the meantime, signs will direct drivers to the westbound on-ramp a few blocks away at 108th Avenue Northeast.

SR 520 closure details at a glance

  • Both directions of 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, July 13, to 5 a.m. Monday, July 16.
  • The 108th Avenue Northeast on-ramp to eastbound SR 520 will remain open to traffic.
  • Crews will close 108th Avenue Northeast between Northup Way and SR 520 to install a large culvert.
  • Two sections of SR 520 will remain open to traffic: I-5 to Montlake Boulevard and areas east of I-405.

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 July 14 and 15
The I-90 express lane schedules will change this weekend on I-90 to help maintain traffic flow.

  • The I-90 express lanes will be open westbound from 6 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. and eastbound after 7:30 p.m. Saturday, July 14.
  • The I-90 express lanes will be open westbound from 6 a.m. to 2 p.m. and eastbound after 3 p.m. Sunday, July 15.
  • The typical express lane schedule is posted online, as well as this weekend’s altered schedule.

Project tour
About 150 people who pre-registered for a limited number of spaces will get a close-up look at construction on Saturday during a tour of work crews have accomplished since starting more than a year ago.
"We want to thank our neighbors for their patience during construction," said Brian Dobbins, WSDOT’s SR 520 Eastside construction manager. "There’s some very impressive work happening on this project and we want to showcase our progress."

SR 520 Eastside project overview
Crews working on the Eastside Transit and HOV project are widening SR 520 to six lanes between Medina and Bellevue, rebuilding interchanges, constructing highway lids and bus stops in the center of the highway and installing fish-friendly 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. The completed Medina to Bellevue corridor is scheduled to open to traffic in December 2013.

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