Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Over and out: SR 99 lane closures complete (for now)

By Chelsey Funis

Since mid-January, crews have been drilling, pouring and constructing concrete foundations for four new overhead traffic signs on SR 99/Aurora Avenue North in Seattle. Located between the Aurora Bridge and just north of Mercer Street, these real-time traffic signs will communicate important information to drivers approaching the future SR 99 tunnel – similar to the large electronic signs on I-5 and other highways.

Workers completed installing sign foundations that will eventually hold signs like this on SR 99 in Seattle.

We're happy to report that this work went more quickly than expected. Crews were able to complete foundation work more than a week early and as Tuesday morning, the around-the-clock closures near Comstock Street have been completed.

What was accomplished
In the past six weeks, crews have:
  • Placed approximately 1,700 feet of temporary concrete barrier to establish five separate work zones between the Aurora Bridge and Highland Drive.
  • Cut and removed approximately 1,800 square feet of pavement and 800 feet of existing concrete barrier to make room for the new foundations.
  • Drilled five underground shafts for the sign foundations. Each shaft is 4½ feet in diameter and extends 14 to 18 feet underground.

Crews doing sign installation work on SR 99 in Seattle completed their work ahead of schedule and all lanes are back open.

More lane closures coming to SR 99 this spring
We're not free and clear of all lane closure just yet. While we've finished building the sign foundations, next on the docket is erecting the approximately 24-foot-tall, 7,000-pound metal sign structures (the actual signs will be hung at a later date). Raising the structures – three cantilevers and one sign bridge crossing over the southbound lanes – isn't an easy task, especially on a narrow highway like SR 99. Because of that, partial or full directional closures on SR 99 will be needed sometime this spring. Stay tuned for additional details once this work has been scheduled.

Thanks for helping us keep traffic moving
Closing lanes on a busy stretch of highway is never easy. We recognize that work like this affects the daily routines of thousands of commuters, and we do our best to minimize disruptions. Thank you for your patience and flexibility as we completed this work, and thanks for doing your part to keep traffic moving over the past six weeks.