Friday, February 5, 2016

Good news for SR 99 commuters: first phase of lane closures wrapping up early

By Chelsey Funis

Last week we reported that crews were making good progress as they worked to install sign foundations on SR 99/Aurora Avenue North in Seattle. Turns out good progress leads to good news: the first phase of sign foundation work is finishing ahead of schedule. By Friday afternoon, median lane closures should be removed and the southbound bus-only lane will be restored to normal operations.

It may be tough to tell, but the new foundations for each sign on SR 99 extend 14 to 18 feet below the
roadway surface in order to hold a 7,000 pound steel cantilever structure and a new sign.

Sign foundation work isn’t done just yet, though. Beginning Monday, Feb. 8, crews will begin the second and final phase of this effort. They’ll be drilling, placing rebar and pouring concrete for one remaining sign foundation near Comstock Street. This phase is expected to be complete within 2 to 3 weeks and isn’t expected to significantly impact traffic, transit or pedestrians traveling on Aurora. 

Traffic details for the next phase of work include:

  • The southbound curb/bus-only lane will be closed near Comstock Street for approximately one block.
  • An additional southbound lane may close overnight. 
  • Buses traveling in the bus-only lane will merge into the general purpose lane a few blocks north of where the bus-only lane currently ends.

Minor electrical work: Feb. 8 through early March
As foundation work near Comstock Street progresses, electrical crews will be installing underground electrical cabinets at the sign foundations, wiring for a new traffic camera and connecting communications lines to the existing overhead system. Electrical work is expected to take 4 to 5 weeks to complete and will require an intermittent, localized lane closure at specific points along southbound SR 99. These closures will be limited to off-peak hours only (10 a.m. to 2 p.m.).

Although traffic and travel times are expected to remain fairly normal for the next few weeks, we appreciate your continued patience, flexibility and attentiveness as you travel on Aurora. If you would like additional information about the lane closures or ongoing construction at the north end of the SR 99 tunnel, please visit our project website.

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