Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Digging into a different way to move dirt

By Victoria Miller

If you drive on Interstate 405 near downtown Renton, you may have noticed a lot of activity happening on the hillside to the south of the freeway.

You may have even asked yourself, "What is that funny looking machine hanging over I-405?" Well, we have been hard at work this spring and summer constructing the I-405/SR 167 Interchange Direct Connector Project. We've already completed some early milestones, such as relocating a noise wall to protect our neighbors from construction noise and shifting traffic to create safe work zones.
In early July, we began mass excavation of the hillside near the Talbot Hill neighborhood. We have been moving dirt in this area to prepare once again to shift lanes of northbound I-405 to the south and create space for the future flyover ramp.
But this isn't your average dirt-moving project. Originally, the mass excavation was scheduled to take approximately three months. Trucks would have been hauling 80,000 cubic yards of dirt 24 hours a day, seven days a week through city and neighborhood streets. That is equal to 2,500 truckloads or eight Goodyear blimps of dirt!
An innovative way of moving dirt on our I-405/SR 167 project is saving time, money and fuel.

Instead, the contractor came up with a creative alternative. The team cut out a hole in an existing retaining wall and installed a conveyor belt, that funny looking machine that was hanging over I-405, which loaded dump trucks with dirt and allowed them to exit on Smithers Avenue South via northbound I-405, avoiding driving the whole route through city and neighborhood streets.

We realize that construction can be an inconvenience for drivers and nearby residents, which is why we're always looking for ways to minimize effects that people experience from our projects. By carrying out this innovative plan, our contractor saved approximately a week and a half of time, minimized construction noise and traffic issues on neighborhood streets, and conserved fuel.

The next construction activity you will see is crews repaving roughly six miles of southbound SR 167. Then we will move on to setting girders for a new I-405 bridge over Talbot Hill and the first stages of work to help improve fish passage in this area, which are scheduled to begin sometime next spring.

For the latest construction closure information, please visit our I-405 Construction Updates page and our King County Construction Updates page.


Peter McKittrick said...

Thank you for being so considerate of our local communities!

David Roberts said...

This is perhaps the biggest waste of carpoolers ohh wait I mean tax payers money, just another way for the state to use our money to try to make more off the carpool lane. Mabye one day this state will spend some money to actually fix traffic #WSDOTBS

Freeway Living said...

Please hurry up with the water main on the south side of the wall and this ugly construction. We really would like to be able to sell our home but can't with all of our streets closed down and fenced off. The state should be paying us a "user fee" they have been using our neighborhood to profit Atkinson and we have suffered financially. These construction and engineers have said this work would be completed, the road paved and landscaped over 6 months ago. And here it sits looking like yuk yuk! All we get out of it is a nice Christmas box of summer sausage yuk again!!

Unknown said...

Enough with the highways. We'd blow 5 billion on freeways without batting an eye but spending that money on public transit needs massive voter approval?

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