Wednesday, March 22, 2023

Bridge deck repairs require multi-day closures starting in April on I-90 east of Issaquah

By Tom Pearce

Round two of multi-day lane reductions on westbound Interstate 90 east of Issaquah starts Sunday, April 9 so we can repair several bridge decks between the Preston interchange at Southeast 82nd Street and Highlands Drive in Issaquah. We currently have closures scheduled during four weeks this spring; four additional weeks with closures will be scheduled soon.

Four of these weeks are a continuation of the project we did on westbound I-90 late this past summer. In addition to these, later this spring we’ll have two weeks with lane reductions on eastbound I-90 about a mile east of the Preston interchange so we can repair the bridge deck over the Raging River. We’ll also have two more weeks on westbound I-90.

When and where we’ll work

We need to reduce I-90 to a single lane for three to four days at each location. Each site will require two different lane reductions – one to do the left lanes, the other to do the right. The first two lane reductions are about 3½ miles west of the Preston interchange:

  • 10 a.m. Monday, April 10 to 6 p.m. Wednesday, April 12
  • 10 a.m. Monday, April 17 to 6 p.m. Wednesday, April 19

Another bridge will require two closures about a mile west of the Preston interchange:

  • 9 p.m. Sunday, May 14, to 4 a.m. Thursday, May 18
  • 9 p.m. Sunday, May 21, to 4 a.m. Thursday, May 25

Just so it’s clear, these are 24/7 closures, not just overnight, so please take that into account as you travel.

These are the locations where bridge repair will happen this spring on I-90

Later, we will have two more westbound lane reductions about four miles west of Preston and two weeks with eastbound lane reductions at the Raging River. I’d like to give you better landmarks for the westbound bridges, but all of them cross East Fork Issaquah Creek and the bridges aren’t that obvious. We have our own system to track bridge locations, but I’m not sure telling you we’re working on bridge 90/75N would help.

Balancing necessary work and travel

Yes, this work is going to create challenges for people who use both directions of I-90 between Issaquah and Preston, but we need to do this work. We’ve heard from many of you about the potholes not only on I-90, but around the region.

This westbound I-90 bridge deck about four miles west of Preston is one of the areas scheduled for repair.

Unfortunately, our resources don’t allow us to repair every pothole as soon as we hear about it. We prioritize areas in which the worn pavement is, or could soon become, a hazard for drivers. For this work, two of the bridges are part of a regionwide bridge deck preservation project. The other two are part of a project we started last year to replace damaged pavement on westbound I-90 as well as two bridges.

If you remember our pavement repair work last year, we saw significant backups to the Preston area and east, particularly during the morning commute. We understand not everyone has options, but if you do, consider:

  • Working at a remote location
  • Adjusting your travel schedule away from morning peak hours
  • Carpooling or using public transit

We know this work will be disruptive for people. If there was a way to make it more convenient, we would do it. Completing the work in a few days will give us a better final product as it prevents small gaps and seams to form in the pavement. Those gaps are where water can seep in and when that water freezes and thaws, that’s what can lead to potholes forming. The original bridge decks lasted more than 40 years. When we take the time to fix these properly, they should last for decades as well.