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Monday, August 29, 2011
Jeff Switzer, WSDOT SR 520 Communications, 206-770-3547 (Seattle) or 206-819-7230 (cell)
Next SR 520 weekend closure scheduled for Sept. 16-19
SEATTLE – Crews have reopened both directions of State Route 520 this morning after working all weekend to install a massive fish-friendly culvert near Yarrow Point and develop a new work zone in Medina. Drivers are now navigating that work zone, where crews can safely build supports for a future lid above the highway.
The highway was scheduled to reopen by 5 a.m., however construction crews took longer than scheduled to complete surveying, repaving and resetting concrete safety barrier on the Eastside. The westbound direction reopened at 5:40 a.m.; the eastbound direction reopened at 6:40 a.m.
“We appreciate commuters’ patience as we wrapped up the last pieces of this weekend’s construction so we could safely reopen the highway,” said Brian Dobbins, Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) SR 520 Eastside construction manager.
During the weekend, traffic was heavier than usual on Interstates 5, 90 and 405 as drivers shifted their trips away from the closed highway and ramps to attend regional events. WSDOT anticipated additional congestion and altered the express lane schedules on I-5 and I-90 to help keep traffic moving.
“Drivers shifted their routes and travel times, which helped keep traffic flowing while our crews worked hard to complete this weekend’s construction,” said Mark Allison, WSDOT project engineer for the SR 520 Eastside Transit and HOV Project.
This weekend, workers carved a nearly 20-foot-deep trench across all lanes to install a fish-passable culvert beneath the highway east of 84th Avenue Northeast. The trench was refilled and repaved.
The work marked the third of six culverts the contractor must quickly install beneath the highway during weekend-only closures. Drivers will notice that lanes near Evergreen Point Road have shifted over the weekend. Crews had to adjust lanes as they built a new median work zone where they will eventually pour concrete piers and then set girders for a new lid above the highway. The lid will include transit facilities, community connections and landscaping.
Go online to see photos of the weekend work at www.flickr.com/photos/wsdot/sets/72157627533177954/with/6090376432 .
The next weekend closure is planned Sept. 16-19 when crews plan to demolish a portion of the Bellevue Way bridge above SR 520 to build a wider overpass and improved interchange. By scheduling weekend-long closures for major construction, the highway stays open for commuters and businesses during the work week.
The work is part of WSDOT’s SR 520 Eastside Transit and HOV Project, a three-year, $306 million project to widen the highway for better safety and travel reliability. When complete, the highway will be six lanes from Medina to Bellevue. The project includes rebuilding interchanges, installing fish-passable culverts, and building highway lids and transit stops in the center of the highway.
WSDOT awarded the 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 be open to traffic in December 2013. More information about the project is online at www.wsdot.wa.gov/Projects/SR520Bridge/MedinaTo202/default.htm.
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