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Closures coming to SR 520 bridge and highway this weekend
It’s crunch time on State Route 520 this weekend as crews demolish the western half of the Bellevue Way Northeast overpass to make room for an improved interchange and future transit/HOV lanes on the highway.
Travelers can expect traffic congestion Friday night through Monday morning (Sept. 16-19) as drivers seek alternate routes across and around Lake Washington to sporting events and other destinations in Seattle.
Crews plan to close the highway between Montlake Boulevard in Seattle and Interstate 405 in Bellevue starting at 11 p.m. Friday, and reopen all lanes by 5 a.m. Monday. The Bellevue Way Northeast overpass above SR 520 also is scheduled to close starting Friday night and remain closed during demolition.
The Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) encourages drivers to plan ahead when considering weekend travel. The heaviest traffic is expected midday Saturday and Sunday on Interstates 5 and 90 heading into Seattle and on I-405 approaching I-90. The express lane schedules will change this weekend on I-5 and I-90 to help improve traffic flow.
This summer lanes on the Bellevue Way Northeast overpass were shifted east in preparation for demolition of the overpass and the next round of construction.
“This weekend we launch a major step toward remaking the Bellevue Way interchange,” said Brian Dobbins, WSDOT construction engineer for the SR 520 Eastside Transit and HOV Project. Starting late Friday night, crews will spread a 6-inch-thick layer of sand on the highway beneath the overpass to protect the pavement from damage during demolition.
WSDOT intends to recycle the old overpass concrete and steel. A completed overpass that includes new freeway ramp connections and a shared-use bicycle and pedestrian path will open to traffic in about 18 months. Landscaping on the overpass will follow.
Crews also plan to pour concrete this weekend for the future overpass at Evergreen Point Road, where girders are scheduled to be installed this fall.
· All on-ramps to SR 520 between Montlake Boulevard in Seattle and I-405 in Bellevue close at 11 p.m. Friday, Sept. 16. All SR 520 ramps in the construction zone remain closed during the weekend, except for the 108th Avenue Northeast on-ramp to eastbound SR 520, which will remain open to drivers.
· The SR 520 mainline – all lanes in both directions between Montlake Boulevard in Seattle and I-405 in Bellevue – close from 11 p.m. Friday, Sept. 16, to 5 a.m. Monday, Sept. 19.
· Bellevue Way Northeast closes north and south of SR 520 from 11 p.m. Friday through 11:59 p.m. Saturday.
· Two sections of SR 520 remain open to traffic: I-5 to Montlake Boulevard, and east of I-405.
Night work is planned, and residents near the work zone are likely to hear construction noise. Weekend closure details are available at www.wsdot.wa.gov/Projects/SR520Bridge/WeekendClosures.
Special I-90 and I-5 express lane operations
Saturday, Sept. 17
· The I-90 express lanes open westbound from 6 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 17, and eastbound after 8:30 p.m.
· The I-5 express lanes open southbound from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 17, and then switch to northbound from 3 p.m. to 11 p.m.
Sunday, Sept. 18
· The I-90 express lanes CLOSED 4-10:30 a.m. Sunday, Sept. 18, for the Trek Triathlon. They reopen westbound 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. and switch to eastbound by 3 p.m.
· The I-5 express lanes will be open southbound 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. and northbound 3 p.m. to 11 p.m.
· The typical express lane schedule is posted online, as well as this weekend’s altered schedule. Key alternate routes for drivers heading to Seattle and the sports stadiums from the south end include SR 509, SR 599, East Marginal Way South, Airport Way South and Fourth Avenue South. Express lane details are at www.wsdot.wa.gov/Northwest/King/ExpressLanes/SpecialEvents.
SR 520 Eastside project overview
The Eastside Transit and HOV Project will widen SR 520 to six lanes from Medina to Bellevue. The project includes rebuilding interchanges, building highway lids and transit stops in the center of the highway and installing fish-passable culverts. WSDOT awarded the $306 million design-build contract to Eastside Corridor Constructors (ECC), a joint venture of Granite Construction Company and PCL Construction Services.
Complete SR 520 highway construction closures are limited to no more than 20 weekends during the next three years. The completed corridor is scheduled to open to traffic in December 2013.