SR 520 email update - Sept. 11, 2014
Road watch: SR 520 closing this weekend to tee up Monday’s opening of new HOV lanes on Eastside
SR 520 will close between Montlake Boulevard and I-405 Saturday night to Monday morning so crews can prepare for next week’s opening of new transit/HOV lanes on the Eastside. When the highway reopens at 5 a.m. Monday, dedicated travel lanes for buses and three-person carpools will run in both directions, for the first time, between Evergreen Point Road and I-405.
Crews are using the weekend closure to complete final lane-striping for SR 520’s newly constructed six-lane corridor on the Eastside. The closure also will allow for construction work at several Eastside highway ramps, interchanges and connecting streets. Here are the particulars:
- All lanes of SR 520 will close between I-405 and Montlake Boulevard from 9 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 13 to 5 a.m. Monday, Sept. 15.
- The SR 520 ramps at 92nd Avenue Northeast will close from 4 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 13 to 5 a.m. Monday, Sept. 15 to complete paving of a new roundabout interchange.
- Several other SR 520 ramps, streets and intersections on the Eastside will close for construction at various times over the weekend, including 108th Avenue Northeast and 112th Avenue Northeast, which will close overnight Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
- The highway’s mainline will remain open until after Saturday’s University of Washington football game at Husky Stadium to accommodate fans attending and exiting the event.
Meanwhile, more SR 520 work continues to the west. When SR 520 is fully rebuilt as planned, the expanded highway will have transit/HOV lanes from I-5 to downtown Redmond, safer, sturdier bridges, better local traffic connections, and a regional, cross-lake path for bicyclists, joggers and pedestrians.
You’ll find the latest information on highway construction and SR 520 closures on our Orange Page.
Go online to view the latest design concepts for SR 520 improvements in Seattle
Couldn’t attend our Sept. 11 open house in Montlake to learn about planned – but still unfunded – SR 520 improvements in Seattle? Not to worry. We’ve posted our Rest of the West open house display boards on the SR 520 website. Check them out to see the refined designs that WSDOT, design professionals and city of Seattle representatives have developed for a new Portage Bay Bridge, a community-connecting lid over the highway in the Montlake neighborhood, and improved paths and connections for nonmotorized travel in the corridor. You’ll also find an array of maps, renderings and informative display boards on other SR 520 upgrades – both planned and already under construction.
Tune in to the Travel Channel on Tuesday to see why our floating bridge is ‘extreme’
At 9 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 16, the Travel Channel premiers a new series called “The World’s Most Extreme,” with the inaugural episode focusing on “the ten most extreme bridges on earth.” One of those 10 bridges is right here in Washington state – the State Route 520 floating bridge, which you may or may not know is the planet’s longest floating bridge. The original, 51-year-old structure on Lake Washington is currently the longest, but will be replaced by an even longer floating bridge scheduled to open in spring 2016.
Settle down in front of your TV with a bowl of popcorn at 9 p.m. Tuesday to find out why the new SR 520 floating bridge is extreme.
Get ready, SR 520 construction expected to start next week in Seattle
The reconstruction of SR 520 is about to move west from Lake Washington and the Eastside to Seattle. WSDOT and our newest contractor, Flatiron West Inc., are beginning construction of a new, fixed bridge that will carry westbound traffic – including buses, carpools, bicycles and pedestrians – from SR 520’s new floating bridge to Seattle’s Montlake area. The 1.2-mile-long West Approach Bridge North (WABN) will take about three years to build.
Beginning next week, Flatiron crews expect to start clearing and preparing construction staging areas, erecting construction fencing, and setting up field trailers and equipment. In coming weeks, they’ll begin demolition of the old Museum of History and Industry and the R.H. Thomson “ramps to nowhere” near Seattle’s Arboretum area, and start the installation of piles for a temporary work bridge in Union Bay.
We do our best to minimize disruptions to the public during construction. Nevertheless, there will be unavoidable impacts for the folks who live, work and play near the construction zone. We thank you, in advance, for your patience as we work to replace the existing, structurally vulnerable west approach. You can check out this flier to see how to stay informed about this newest phase of the SR 520 construction program.
Backups expected from major I-5 construction this weekend and next in Olympia
Drivers are encouraged to avoid I-5 and US 101 in Olympia over the weekends of Sept. 12 to 15 and Sept. 19 to 22 while crews repair a bridge expansion joint. Daytime and nighttime lane and ramp closures are expected to cause lengthy backups and traffic delays. Consider delaying discretionary trips, traveling early or using alternate routes. One option is riding Amtrak Cascades, which offers four round trips per day between Seattle and Portland. For specifics on the Olympia lane and ramp closures, check the project web page.