Local Information

SR 99 in Seattle down to one lane in each direction for repaving, June 1-2

Tuesday, May 28, 2019 - 07:24

Tom Pearce, communications, 206-440-4696
Ed Kane, project engineer, 425-225-8743

SEATTLE – After nearly a year of painting and steel repairs under the State Route 99 Aurora Avenue bridge, work will shift to the topside this weekend when crews begin repaving the historic bridge.

Space is limited on the bridge deck. To protect travelers and provide a safe work zone for contractor crews, both directions of SR 99 will reduce to a single lane from 7 p.m. Friday, May 31, until 5 a.m. Monday, June 3. During this time, people traveling in the area should expect backups and delays between the SR 99 tunnel and Green Lake.

During the lane reduction, contractor crews working for the Washington State Department of Transportation will scrape off old asphalt, make any needed repairs to the bridge deck, then pave a new layer of asphalt on the southern end of the northbound lanes. The work is extremely weather-dependent, said WSDOT Project Engineer Ed Kane.

“Before we pave new asphalt on the bridge we need to install a water-proof layer, but we need the bridge deck to be completely dry for 24 hours before we can do that,” he explained. “We’ll watch the weather forecast carefully leading up to the weekend. We hope to complete this work as soon as possible this summer.”

Travelers need to plan for delays
While the Aurora bridge will remain open for vehicles, people who usually travel across the bridge need to allow extra time and consider alternatives:

  • Take the bus.
  • Carpool.
  • Walk or bicycle – the walkway on the west (southbound) side of the bridge remains open.
  • People who drive should plan for heavy traffic on alternative routes like Interstate 5 and city streets.

Before heading out the door, travelers can check get real-time traffic information with  the WSDOT mobile app and the WSDOT Traffic Twitter feed.

Preserving the bridge and highway
The work is part of a major project to rehabilitate the 88-year-old structure, officially known as the George Washington Bridge. Since last summer, crews have been painting the supporting structure and repairing worn steel portions of the span. To pave the bridge, crews will reduce it to one lane in each direction for up to 10 weekends. Weekend work will be from 7 p.m. Friday to 5 a.m. Monday, the weekends of:

  • June 14-17
  • June 28-July 1
  • July 12-15
  • Aug. 9-12, 16-19 and 23-26

In addition to preserving the bridge, the paving is part of a larger effort to resurface SR 99 from Roy Street near downtown Seattle to North 145th Street and the Seattle/Shoreline city limits.

Even with lane closures, access to businesses will remain open along the corridor.

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