Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Plan now for a busy weekend of roadwork

By Mike Allende

It’s a busy time of year with Halloween approaching, the holidays closing in fast and lots to do all around the region. More and more inclement weather is also on the way and our maintenance and construction crews are working fast to get as much done as possible before rain and cold makes work more difficult.

That’s going to make for some busy weekends, and one of those is right in front of us.

Between Friday, Oct. 23 and Monday, Oct. 26, significant work on eastbound I-90 across Lake Washington, I-405 in Kirkland/Bothell, the SR 513/Montlake Bridge and SR 520 near Montlake and in Redmond means drivers will have to plan ahead and be aware of closures to avoid as many delays as possible.

What’s closed: Eastbound I-90 reduced to one lane near Rainier Avenue South then routed into the express lanes.
When: 11 p.m. Friday to 5 a.m. Monday.
Why: Work continues on the I-90 Two-Way Transit and HOV project. After this, there are three more weekend-long closures scheduled in 2015. Much of the work is happening inside the Mount Baker and Mercer Island tunnels as workers continue to prepare the roadway for Sound Transit’s East Link light rail extension connecting Seattle, Mercer Island, Bellevue and Overlake.

Workers make electrical upgrades inside the I-90 Mercer Island
Tunnel during a recent weekend closure.
What’s closed: The northbound I-405 on-ramps at NE 160th Street and the northbound I-405 ramps to eastbound and westbound SR 522.
When: 10 p.m. Friday to noon Sunday.
Why: One of the final pieces of the I-405 NE 6th Street to I-5 Widening and Express Toll Lanes project will be put in place near northbound I-405 in the Kirkland/Bothell area. During the closure, contractor crews will install a new 19 feet by 13 feet underground storm water drainage vault that will help prevent polluted water from the highway and nearby hills from entering the Sammamish River.

The new I-405 braided ramps at SR 522 will be closed this
weekend for installation of a new storm water drainage vault.
SR 513/Montlake Bridge
What’s closed: Both directions of the SR 513 Montlake Bridge, the westbound SR 520 ramp to Montlake Boulevard and one lane of the eastbound SR 520 ramp to Montlake Boulevard.
When: 5 a.m. Saturday to 5 p.m. Sunday.
Why: Our bridge maintenance crews will replace sections of the aging Montlake Bridge grid deck. Bicyclists and pedestrians will have access across the west side of the bridge but marine traffic will be limited. The bridge deck is reaching the end of its life span and replacing it will cut down on maintenance costs and traffic delays due to maintenance closures.

To get around the closure, drivers from the north can access the Montlake neighborhood from the University Bridge, the eastbound SR 520 ramp to Montlake or the Roanoke Street exit from I-5. If you’re coming from the Eastside, get to Montlake by using the westbound SR 520 ramp to Lake Washington Boulevard.

If you’re a boater, you’ll be restricted to south single leaf openings from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday and Sunday and have to provide at least one-hour notice.

This weekend the Montlake Bridge will be closed in both directions
while WSDOT replaces sections of the aging grid deck.
SR 520 Seattle
What’s closed: There will be intermittent single-lane closures in both directions of Montlake Boulevard East from East Roanoke Street to East Hamlin Street. A single westbound lane on East Lake Washington Boulevard between 24th Avenue East and Montlake Boulevard will also be closed.
When: 5 a.m. Saturday to 5 p.m. Sunday.
Why: Contractor crews working on the SR 520 West Approach Bridge project will energize a new traffic signal and demolish an old signal at the intersection of Montlake Boulevard and East Lake Washington Boulevard.

SR 520 Redmond
What’s closed: Two right lanes of westbound SR 520 at NE 51st Street and the westbound SR 520 off-ramp to NE 51st and NE 40th streets.
When: 10 p.m. Friday to 5 a.m. Monday.
Why: Contractor crews will begin work on a project to split the westbound SR 520 ramp to NE 51st/NE 40th streets into two separate exits, including installing safety barriers, lighting, lane striping and signs.

Special Events
It’ll be a busy weekend at CenturyLink Field as the Seattle Home Show will be going on at the Event Center from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily Friday through Sunday, and the Seattle Sounders have a huge game at 4 p.m. Sunday against Real Salt Lake. If your travels take you near the stadiums, be sure to plan for extra time and lots of congestion and consider alternate routes like SR 99, 509 or 599. Sound Transit is also running special Sounder service to and from the Sounders match.

Plan ahead
With all of this work, drivers are encouraged to plan ahead, consider alternate routes if possible, travel earlier in the day or later at night and stay plugged in to traffic conditions including checking our Seattle Traffic page, following us on Twitter and by calling our 511 information phone line.