Local Information

Bridge girder placement west of floating bridge marks newest milestone for SR 520

Wednesday, March 16, 2016 - 15:50

Steve Peer, WSDOT communications, 425-301-2023


353 large girders to be placed on columns through the end of the year

SEATTLE – State Route 520 drivers may have noticed a change this morning on a new structure springing up from Lake Washington just north of the highway. Last night, Tuesday, March 15, crews working for the Washington State Department of Transportation trucked in and placed three large girders on columns between the new floating bridge and Montlake Boulevard.

The girder delivery is just starting – crews still need to bring in 350 more girders before the project wraps up next summer. A total of 353 girders, some 150 feet long and 8 feet tall, will serve as the backbone for the West Approach Bridge North. Placed vertically, each girder is the height of a 16-story building. Placed end to end the girders would stretch more than 10 miles. The road deck placed on the new girders will extend SR 520’s three westbound lanes from the new floating bridge to the Montlake area in Seattle.

The girders, constructed in Tacoma, are being delivered via Interstate 5 and East Lake Washington Boulevard, and then trucked across the 24th Avenue East Bridge and into the construction work zone. Their final journey is on a temporary work bridge, built just north of SR 520, which provides in-water construction access and helps to reduce the number of closures needed on SR 520.

This week’s SR 520 closure and traffic details
This week, girders are being placed in close proximity to the existing SR 520 Bridge, so crews are closing westbound SR 520.

11 p.m. Wednesday, March 16, to 5 a.m. Friday, March 18:

  • All lanes and ramps of westbound SR 520 between 92nd Avenue Northeast and Montlake Boulevard will close nightly.
  • During girder deliveries, flaggers will briefly halt traffic in both directions on East Lake Washington Boulevard as trucks turn onto the 24th Avenue East bridge overcrossing.
  • Intermittent rolling slowdowns will be in place on the westbound SR 520 off-ramp to East Lake Washington Boulevard and the eastbound SR 520 on-ramp from Montlake Boulevard.
  • Parking will be restricted on East Lake Washington Boulevard between Montlake Boulevard and 24th Avenue East to allow trucks adequate space for turning.

Future SR 520 closures
Starting next week, girders are being placed farther away from SR 520, so there will be no need to close the existing structure. Some lane and ramp closures to move in and place the girders may still be required, but will be sporadic through the end of the year. When closures are needed WSDOT will list them the Friday before the work on the What's Happening Now page.

Slated to open next summer, the new West Approach Bridge North will replace a vulnerable, hollow-column structure built in the early 1960s, and extend the new HOV/transit lane and bicycle/pedestrian path across Lake Washington from the Eastside.

For up-to-date information on highway closures and construction activity associated with SR 520, please visit the SR 520 Orange Page, or follow the project on Twitter.


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