The city's annual repaving program will move its grinders and rollers onto Bellevue Way next week, at the north end of downtown, reducing the number of daytime travel lanes available for drivers and bicyclists.
Beginning Monday morning, Aug. 29, crews will begin repaving work along Bellevue Way one segment at a time. The first section will be from Northeast Eighth Street to just past Northeast 12th Street. Crews will work their way north, finishing near Northeast 32nd Place, a distance of about 1.5 miles.
During the roughly one-month-long project, traffic on the four-lane street, which handles about 22,000 vehicles on a typical weekday, will be restricted to two lanes, one in each direction. To reduce noise impacts on nearby residential neighborhoods, the lane closures will be limited to weekdays during business hours, from approximately 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Travelers should be prepared for delays. Alternate routes to and from SR 520, just north of the closure area, are recommended, including the use of Interstate 405 or 112th Avenue Northeast.
The Bellevue Way project is part of the city's annual overlay program, now in its 25th year. This year, the city's contractor will repave about 23.5 lane miles of roadway in 32 different locations, at a cost of approximately $3.7 million. Related work includes fixing or replacing curbs, gutters and sidewalks, as needed, and installing 90 new curb ramps to make it easier for people with disabilities to get around.
In the overlay operation, old asphalt is planed down so the new overlay will match the concrete curb and gutter. Later, a paving machine lays down two inches of new asphalt, followed by a heavy roller that presses the asphalt into place. If a street is neglected for too long and a complete rebuild is needed, it can cost up to three times as much as an overlay.
In other downtown traffic news, the state Department of Transportation announced it is wrapping up repair work on the new Northeast 12th Street Bridge over Interstate 405, and the bridge will open for two-way traffic by Monday, Aug. 29. The bridge has been restricted to one-way traffic for repair work since April, when contractor crews accidentally damaged the new bridge while removing the old bridge during work on the I-405 Bellevue Braids project.
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