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Wednesday, September 28, 2011
Seema Javeri, WSDOT project engineer, 425-889-0244 (Bellevue)
Steve Peer, WSDOT communications, 425-301-2023 (Bellevue)
BELLEVUE – Major changes to the way downtown Bellevue drivers get to and from work are coming this weekend. On Friday, Sept. 30, crews will close northbound Interstate 405 for 53 hours. When crews reopen the road Monday morning, drivers headed to Redmond, Seattle and Kirkland will use new ramps to get to I-405 and State Route 520.
This is the Washington State Department of Transportation’s (WSDOT) second attempt at the weekend closure. Last week, Atkinson Construction, the contractor for the I-405 Bellevue Braids project, called the weekend closure off due to the forecasted heavy rain. This weekend, if heavy rain is expected, the closure could be postponed again.
“We need dry weather this weekend to make sure the construction is finished by Monday morning,” said Seema Javeri, WSDOT project engineer. “The work is very challenging and compressed into a tight time frame, and we need to ensure we’ve got a long enough weather window to complete the work.”
Atkinson Construction will decide Friday morning if the weekend work will go forward based on the forecast. If sufficient rain is predicted, they plan to call off the closure.
During the weekend closure, drivers should plan extra time into their schedules and expect delays on detour routes around Bellevue.
- Northbound I-405 will close from NE Eighth Street to SR 520 from 11 p.m. Friday, Sept. 30, to 4 a.m. Monday, Oct. 4.
- Several northbound ramps in Bellevue will close and signed detours will be in place.
- Southbound I-405 will be open to traffic all weekend.
- Bellevue is open for business during the northbound freeway closure. Northbound exit ramps will be open as far north as NE Eighth Street.
During the closure, Atkinson Construction crews working for WSDOT will connect new ramps to I-405 and SR 520 from downtown Bellevue and northbound I-405. Crews will also take advantage of the freeway closure to accomplish other work to minimize future disruptions to traffic.
When I-405 reopens
Crews will unveil the new ramps when the freeway opens Monday morning – nine months ahead of schedule.
New signs in and around Bellevue will direct drivers to SR 520 and I-405 using the new ramps:
- Drivers going to SR 520 will use NE 10th Street. The new ramp will take vehicles directly to east- and westbound SR 520. Eastside drivers will no longer have access to SR 520 from NE Eighth Street.
- Drivers will continue to use NE Eighth Street to reach I-405 but will use a new ramp to reach northbound I-405.
- Northbound I-405 drivers should prepare to exit to SR 520 nearly one-half mile earlier than the current exit point.
Want project and construction details?
Once complete in the summer of 2012, the $107.7 million construction project will reduce existing congestion that can last up to eight hours a day in Bellevue with new braided ramps that separate traffic going to SR 520 and I-405 and an SR 520 bypass lane over NE 124th Avenue NE.
Crews are also replacing the NE 12th Street Bridge with a wider structure that includes a bicycle and pedestrian lane and improves traffic circulation in Bellevue.
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