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Counting down the days: I-90 work near Bellevue starts Friday night

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Date:  Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Contact: Kris Olsen, WSDOT communications, 206-440-4704

Seven-day closure of all but one westbound lane kicks off Friday, July 18 with closures of I-405 ramps
 

MERCER ISLAND – The difficult and time-consuming project to replace two old bridge expansion joints on westbound Interstate 90 near Mercer Island begins at 8 p.m. Friday, July 18.

That’s when contractors working for the Washington State Department of Transportation will start closing lanes and ramps to restripe I-90 to create safe merging areas for drivers and the work zone for road workers who are replacing the 33-year-old expansion joints on the East Channel Bridge. Crews will reopen some ramps once restriping work is complete.

The project will reduce westbound I-90 to one lane at Bellevue Way around-the-clock from 9:30 p.m. July 18 through 5 a.m. Friday, July 25. There will be three lanes open across the East Channel Bridge from approximately Bellevue Way to where the construction ends near East Mercer Way.

The following will be temporarily closed Friday night to early morning Saturday morning:

  • 8 p.m. - 3 a.m.
    • The southbound Bellevue Way general purpose ramp to westbound I-90 closed. All drivers will use the HOV ramp through 3 a.m.
  • 8 p.m. - 5 a.m.
    • The westbound I-90 ramp to East Mercer Way will be closed. Drivers will be detoured to Island Crest Way.
    • The northbound and southbound I-405 ramps to westbound I-90. Drivers will be detoured east on I-90 to 148th Avenue Southeast and turned around to travel west on I-90.
  • 8 p.m.
    • The westbound I-90 lanes begin narrowing with the interstate down to one lane at Bellevue Way by 9:30 p.m.

Saturday, July 19

  • 3 a.m.
    • The southbound Bellevue Way HOV ramp to westbound I-90 closes for the weekend for the first phase of construction. The Bellevue Way general purpose ramp will reopen to all.

At 5 a.m., Saturday, July 19 the first stage of construction will be in effect. During this phase the crews will replace the expansion joints on the left side of the bridge. The following will be closed or open during this work:

  • Closed:
    • All but one lane of westbound I-90 between approximately I-405 and Bellevue Way.
    • The three left lanes across the bridge itself to East Mercer Way.
    • The Bellevue Way HOV on-ramp to westbound I-90. All drivers use the general purpose ramp.
    • The southbound I-405 HOV ramp to westbound I-90. All drivers use the general purpose ramp.
  • Open:
    • Three lanes open from approximately Bellevue Way and across the East Channel Bridge. Interstate 90 returns to its normal configuration near East Mercer Way.
    • The exit to East Mercer Way.
    • The Bellevue Way general purpose ramp to westbound I-90.
    • The southbound I-405 general purpose ramp to westbound I-90.
    • The northbound I-405 exit to westbound I-90.
    • The bike/pedestrian path will be open throughout construction.

The switch from stage one to stage two of construction when the right lanes are closed is expected to occur as early as Sunday evening. At that time, the contractor will need to again close the I-405 exits to westbound I-90 to restripe. The project web page has a day-by-day schedule of anticipated lane and ramp closures.

Know before you go
During this critical work to maintain the safety of the bridge, drivers are encouraged to find alternate routes, carpool, vanpool, telecommute, delay discretionary trips and allow plenty of extra time. This closure will affect much of the highway system as commuters find new ways around. Drivers should expect extra congestion on I-405, SR 520, nearby surface streets and even I-5.

  • The WSDOT blog will provide regular updates about the closure, traffic trouble spots, and advice to get around.
  • The Seattle traffic page contains updated road information including links to traffic cameras.
  • The travel alerts website provides real-time information about blocking incidents.
  • WSDOT’s mobile app offers information for travelers on the go.
  • @wsdot_traffic will provide updates about this project using the hashtag #I90to1
  • 5-1-1 offers traffic updates.
  • The What’s Happening Now page chronicles closures and issues affecting travelers.

Special events
Drivers should also be aware of several special events in the Seattle area occurring during the closure that could cause additional congestion:

  • The Bite of Seattle takes place at the Seattle Center July 18-20.
  • The Seattle Sounders have a match against the Tottenham Hotspur on Saturday, July 19 at CenturyLink Field.
  • The Seattle Mariners begin a 7 game home stand on Monday, July 21 against the New York Mets and the Baltimore Orioles.


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