Local Information

Weekend SR 520 closures planned for new highway lid work

Tuesday, January 26, 2021 - 08:20

Steve Peer, communications, 425-301-2023

This weekend kicks off a series of four one-way highway closures across Lake Washington

SEATTLE – Weekend travelers should plan ahead as crews alternately close one direction of State Route 520 across Lake Washington over four weekends this winter. Beginning Friday night, Jan. 29, crews will close the eastbound lanes and start placing beams over the highway to build a community-connecting lid in Seattle’s Montlake neighborhood.

The work is part of the $455 million SR 520 Montlake Project to construct new, seismically resilient eastbound lanes between Montlake Boulevard and the floating bridge. In addition to the new lid with a transit center, other project improvements include an improved Montlake Boulevard interchange and a bike and pedestrian bridge over SR 520, east of the lid.

Drivers headed east across Lake Washington during each weekend closure should take alternate routes or consider delaying their trips if possible.

Closure details

From 11 p.m., Friday, Jan. 29, to 5 a.m., Monday, Feb. 1, crews will close:

  • Eastbound SR 520 between Montlake Boulevard and 92nd Avenue Northeast.
  • All associated SR 520 on- and off-ramps between Montlake Boulevard and 92nd Avenue Northeast.
  • Eastbound SR 520 will remain open between I-5 and Montlake Boulevard.
  • The SR 520 Trail also will remain open for the duration of the closure.

Crews will set a total of 114 girders during the four directional closures. Like the wooden beams that support a home’s floors, the concrete girders will support the new lid over SR 520. When the lid is complete, it will add more than three acres of surface over the highway, connecting neighborhoods north and south of SR 520 that have been divided by the highway since the early 1960s. Besides a transit center and several bicycle and pedestrian trails, about 60% of the new lid will be green space with trees, shrubs and grass. 

People will be able to watch the weekend girder setting from home on a Montlake Project construction camera. The camera is mounted just east of the future lid and is updated every ten minutes.  

Flammable cargo restrictions
For safety reasons, beginning at 11 p.m. Friday, Jan. 29, trucks will not be allowed to haul flammable cargo across Lake Washington on SR 520 between Montlake Boulevard in Seattle and 92nd Avenue Northeast in Clyde Hill. The ban will be in place until mid-2023 after crews complete the firefighting system under the lid. Truck drivers carrying flammable cargo should use I-90 as an alternate route.   

Upcoming closures
After this weekend, three more weekend directional closures will occur, with each closure starting at 11 p.m. Fridays and ending the following Mondays at 5 a.m. The closures are:

  • Feb. 6-7 – westbound SR 520 will close between the Eastside and Montlake Boulevard.
  • Feb. 27-28 – westbound SR 520 will close in the same locations.
  • March 6-7 – eastbound SR 520 will close between the Eastside and Montlake Boulevard.

Keeping travelers informed
Get the most up-to-date information on closures by visiting the SR 520 Construction Corner. Other resources to stay informed:

  • 24-hour construction hotline: 206-775-8885

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