Broch Bender,WSDOT communications, 206-440-4699
BELLEVUE – Drivers headed towards Seattle on State Route 520 are in for a big change Sunday morning after construction crews rearranged traffic lanes during a 34-hour highway closure. Northbound drivers on Interstate 5 should plan for more travel delays as critical maintenance work continues in downtown Seattle until Monday morning.
SR 520 reopens on time
Contractor crews working for the Washington State Department of Transportation reopened the SR 520 floating bridge and highway as scheduled at 9 a.m. Sunday after completing a major shift of westbound lanes between 108th Avenue Northeast and Evergreen Point Road.
Nearly 225 workers stayed busy on the Eastside SR 520 corridor and in Seattle as they took advantage of the closed highway by relocating utilities, and installing overhead sign bridges, noise walls and stormwater drainage pipes.
Contractor crews also made progress on the new West Connection Bridge, a 1,330-foot-long structure that will connect the new SR 520 floating bridge to the existing highway. They delivered and poured approximately 40 truckloads of concrete to form column foundations for the new west-end bridge.
Northbound I-5 lane closures continue
Work on northbound I-5 to replace three worn and aging bridge expansion joints caused significant back-ups Saturday, and WSDOT is urging drivers to consider alternate routes today. On Saturday, in a stretch from Interstate 90 to the University District in Seattle, northbound drivers experienced three-mile back-ups and delays of up to an hour.
Drivers headed to the Seattle Seahawks game, the St. Demetrios Greek Festival, Boats Afloat Show and other events are encouraged to check traffic conditions before leaving the house and allow extra time to reach their destination.
“We appreciate the help we got from drivers Saturday yet the I-5 northbound express lanes were under-utilized,” said WSDOT traffic engineer Pasko Kesovija. “We encourage drivers to consider the express lanes when planning their route.”
The I-5 express lanes will be open to northbound traffic until 5 a.m. Monday, Sept. 16.
Northbound I-5 lane closure details
• 11:59 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 15 to 4:30 a.m., Monday Sept. 16 – I-5 will be reduced to a single lane. When all three lanes are closed, the University Street on-ramp to northbound I-5 also will be closed.
• Continuing until 4:30 a.m. Monday, Sept. 16 – Northbound I-5 will be reduced by two left lanes at the most between Olive Way and Lakeview Boulevard while contractor crews replace three worn and aging bridge expansion joints.
• From 5:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 15 – WSDOT maintenance crews also will extend the two left-lane closures from Lakeview Boulevard to the north end of the Ship Canal Bridge for bridge-deck repair work.
Tools for drivers
• Seattle area traffic website with updated travel information, real-time traffic maps and travel times: www.wsdot.wa.gov/traffic/seattle
• Traffic cameras: www.wsdot.wa.gov/traffic
• Travel alerts: www.wsdot.wa.gov/traffic/trafficalerts
• Mobile apps for cell phones and other wireless devices: www.wsdot.com/Inform/mobile.htm
• 5-1-1 for traffic updates. Tune to highway advisory radio and watch electronic highway signs for information.