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Different kind of airport delay may slow travel on SR 518 near Sea-Tac this summer

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Date:  Thursday, May 23, 2013

Contact: Kris Olsen, WSDOT communications, 206-440-4704 (Shoreline)
Janice Fahning, WSDOT project engineer, 425-225-8725 (Everett)

Overnight closures planned through July; drivers encouraged to plan ahead

TUKWILA – Travel delays at the airport can be frustrating. This summer, drivers who use State Route 518 to reach Seattle-Tacoma International Airport should be aware of potential delays on the way to the airport.

Beginning Tuesday, May 28, crews working with the Washington State Department of Transportation will replace concrete panels along a three-quarter-mile stretch of SR 518 between Interstate 5 and SR 99. Drivers can expect overnight, multilane closures during construction, although the eastbound and westbound ramps to the airport will remain open.

This area is heavily used by airport travelers and freight companies. In 2012, drivers made an average of 112,000 daily trips between the Airport Expressway and I-5. WSDOT maintenance crews say most drivers probably can’t feel it yet, but the cracks spreading across the roadway like spider webs are a sure sign the pavement is failing.

“The pavement is cracking, and we know that if we don’t do something soon, the roadway will deteriorate even more,” said WSDOT Project Engineer Janice Fahning.

During construction, crews may close all but one lane of SR 518 in each direction overnight Monday through Thursday. Additionally, all lanes of eastbound SR 518 will be closed overnight for up to four weekends. Drivers will follow a signed detour and should allow an extra 10-15 minutes to reach the airport or consider using an alternate route.

Crews from Atkinson Construction are scheduled to complete the work on SR 518 by Aug. 1.

Nightly road-closure information for SR 518 is available on the King County construction update website

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WSDOT keeps people, businesses and the economy moving by operating and improving the state's transportation systems. To learn more about what we're doing, go to http://www.wsdot.wa.gov/news/ for pictures, videos, news and blogs. Real time traffic information is available at http://wsdot.wa.gov/traffic/ or by dialing 511.


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