Drivers who travel on Interstate 405 through downtown Bellevue should plan to cope with full closures of the highway, in one direction at a time, on four nights in early August. The closures are needed so workers can safely lift a total of 10 concrete girders into place to build a new Northeast 12th Street Bridge.
Access to downtown will be maintained, but drivers traveling through Bellevue on the freeway are urged to reschedule trips, prepare for major slowdowns or follow the suggested detour through Seattle on I-5.
The state Department of Transportation, working with the City of Bellevue, has scheduled the closures the nights of Aug. 3, 4, 9 and 10. The work is part of the Bellevue Braids Project, designed to improve safety and reduce congestion on northbound I-405 between downtown and SR 520. Closure details include:
- Tuesday and Wednesday, Aug. 3 and 4, northbound lanes: I-405 will be completely closed in the northbound direction nightly, from Northeast Eighth Street to SR 520; traffic will be detoured to I-90, I-5 in Seattle, SR 520 and back to I-405.
- Monday and Tuesday, Aug. 9 and 10, southbound lanes: I-405 will be closed in the southbound direction nightly from SR 520 to Northeast Eighth Street, traffic will be detoured to SR 520, I-5, I-90 and back to I-405.
- Closure hours: On all four nights, workers for the contractor, Guy F. Atkinson Construction, LLC, will begin closing lanes at 8 p.m., with one direction of the freeway completely closed by 11 p.m. All lanes will reopen by 5 a.m. the following morning.
The existing Northeast 12th Street Bridge over I-405 will also be shut down during the freeway closure. Local drivers and pedestrians should detour to the Northeast 10th Street Bridge, two blocks to the south.
Once the new bridge is partially completed next year, the adjacent older bridge will be demolished. Each girder for the new bridge is 185 feet long and weighs approximately 205,000 pounds; the capacity of the two cranes that will do the lifting is at least 450 tons. The new bridge will be longer and wider than the current one, and will have a separate lane for bicyclists and pedestrians.
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