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SR 520 closure and Sounders playoff game could cause weekend backups

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Date:  Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Contact: Ryan Bianchi, WSDOT SR 520 Communications, 206-819-7230 (cell)

Update: SR 520 between Montlake Boulevard and I-405 reopened to drivers at 1:35 a.m.

SEATTLE – Seattle Sounders fans and other weekend travelers be warned: State Route 520 will be closed next weekend.

The Seattle Sounders’ postseason success has stretched the team’s schedule into a long-planned closure of SR 520. Construction crews will close the highway from 11 p.m. Friday, Nov. 16, to 5 a.m. Monday, Nov. 19. That means fans heading to and from CenturyLink Field for the 6 p.m. match Sunday, Nov. 18, should expect delays on Interstate 90 and Interstate 5. Drivers are advised to leave with plenty of extra time to reach the game before kickoff.

Drivers also should be aware that both the northbound and southbound left lanes of the Montlake Bridge in Seattle are closed for bridge maintenance 6:30-11:30 a.m. Sunday, Nov. 18. Drivers can expect the most congestion across the bridge from 9-11:30 a.m.

Construction crews building the SR 520 Eastside Transit and HOV Project need to close the highway while they place 18 massive concrete girders for the new Bellevue Way overpass (pdf 724 kb) and complete other critical work.

“The girders for the Bellevue Way overpass are the largest on the project and crews are working in a tight work space,” said Brian Dobbins, construction manager for the Washington State Department of Transportation. “It will take the full weekend to install these girders.”

Each girder is as long as 147 feet, and the largest weighs 271,000 pounds. These are the last girders to install at the new Bellevue Way overpass before crews complete the bridge deck. Crews will still need to place the final girders at the new 92nd Avenue Northeast lidded overpass next year.

Crews also will tackle other work that can only be done while the road is closed, including placing 42 corridor wall panels on the north side of the highway just east of 92nd Avenue Northeast.

Nov. 16 - 19 closure details
Crews will close both directions of SR 520 and all connected ramps between Montlake Boulevard in Seattle and Interstate 405 in Bellevue from 11 p.m. Friday, Nov. 16, to 5 a.m. Monday, Nov. 19. Drivers will need to take I-90 or find alternate routes around Lake Washington.

During previous SR 520 closures, the longest delays on I-90 happened Saturday and Sunday afternoon. To help keep traffic moving during the closure and for game-day traffic, WSDOT is adjusting the reversible I-90 express lanes schedule.

  • Saturday, Nov. 17: I-90 express lanes will be open to westbound traffic from 6 a.m. to 2 p.m. Express lanes will open to eastbound traffic by 3 p.m.
  • Sunday, Nov. 18: I-90 express lanes will be open to westbound traffic from 6 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Express lanes will open to eastbound traffic by 7:30 p.m.

Closure information and detour maps are online. Night work is planned, so residents near the work zone might hear construction noise.

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 transit 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.

More information about the SR 520 Eastside project is online at

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