Road construction season unofficially has kicked off this month with the start of the city's annual Pavement Overlay Program. Major arterials Northeast Eighth Street, 148th Avenue Northeast and 164th Avenue Northeast are slated for new pavement this summer.
Over the next six months, the city will repave more than 21 miles of roadway, including the restoration of 17 different water and sewer repair sites at various locations throughout the city. Workers will also fix or replace curbs, gutters and sidewalks as needed, and install 96 new curb ramps to make it easier for people with disabilities to get around.
Now in its 26th year, the repaving program is designed to maintain safe, high-quality streets and save money over the long run. If a street is neglected too long, all of the old asphalt must be removed and replaced. This complete rebuild can cost up to three times more than a pavement overlay.
The Overlay/Paving page offers details about the overlay program, including a map showing where improvements are taking place. This year's overlay program, which will cost approximately $4.4 million, is concentrated on arterial streets in east Bellevue. Projects generally are focused in one area per year because it's less expensive.
- In May, crews will begin with the pavement restoration of utilities work sites throughout Bellevue. This work is expected to be completed by Memorial Day (May 28), weather permitting.
- In June, the contractor will start construction on the higher volume roadways. The first will be 156th Avenue Northeast, between Bellevue-Redmond Road and Northeast 28th Street; next will be work on 148th Avenue Northeast, between Main Street and Bellevue-Redmond Road. Before paving begins, drivers will see sidewalks and wheelchair ramps replaced along 148th Avenue Northeast. The greatest traffic impacts will come when the old asphalt is removed and new asphalt is laid down.
- In July and August, paving will move to Northeast Eighth Street, between 124th Avenue Northeast through the intersection of 156th Avenue Northeast, and on 164th Avenue Southeast, between Northeast Eighth Street and Southeast 14th Street, the last big stretch of roadway to be completed.
Before work begins in a neighborhood, a flyer will be distributed to affected residents and "No Parking" signs will be set up a couple of days beforehand. On major thoroughfares, electronic message signs will alert drivers to upcoming traffic impacts.
In the overlay process, old asphalt is ground down and removed so the new pavement will match the concrete curb and gutter. A week or so later, a paving machine lays down two inches of new asphalt followed by a heavy roller that compacts and presses the asphalt into place.
Since the overlay program began in 1986, more than 600 lane miles of roadway have been repaved. Citywide, there are approximately 942 total lane miles of asphalt roads.
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