SEATTLE – Crews will install 40 massive concrete girders this weekend to support future lids and overpasses above State Route 520 on the Eastside, a challenging amount of work that requires closing the floating bridge and highway between Seattle and Bellevue.
SR 520 lanes and ramps will close at 11 p.m. Friday, Feb. 24, between Montlake Boulevard in Seattle and Interstate 405 in Bellevue. All lanes and ramps will reopen by 5 a.m. Monday, Feb 27. Bellevue Way also will close from 11 p.m. Friday to 5 p.m. Saturday between Northeast 32nd Place and Northup Way.
“We’re working on four overpasses this weekend, and drivers already can see the shape of what these highway improvements will look like when work is complete,” said Brian Dobbins, construction engineer for the Washington State Department of Transportation’s SR 520 Eastside Transit and HOV Project. “Crews have a full plate and an aggressive schedule for completing this weekend of work before the Monday morning commute.”
Major work will be completed at the Bellevue Way Northeast and 84th Avenue Northeast interchanges. Friday night, crews will place two large cranes on the highway at Bellevue Way to lift and place 10 concrete girders to form the foundation of the west half of the new, wider overpass. On Saturday workers will move the two cranes 1.5 miles west to 84th Avenue Northeast, where they will place up to 30 more girders. In all, the girders weigh more than 4 million pounds and end-to-end would stretch two-thirds of a mile.
With experience gained from each major weekend closure, crews are installing girders with ever-increasing efficiency, Dobbins said.
Crews also plan to swiftly install 288 prefabricated concrete deck panels this weekend for lidded overpasses at Evergreen Point Road and 92nd Avenue Northeast.
WSDOT encourages drivers to plan ahead before traveling this weekend. The heaviest traffic is expected midday Saturday and Sunday on Interstates 5 and 90 heading into Seattle and on I-405 approaching I-90. The express lane schedules will change this weekend on I-90 to help improve traffic flow.