For the next two weeks, drivers through south Bellevue should plan for a series of weeknight lane and ramp closures on Interstate 90 and Interstate 405. At times all westbound or eastbound lanes on I-90 will be shut down.
Crews working for the state Department of Transportation are setting girders for a new southbound bridge over I-90.
"Since the operation requires closures for crews to safely set the girders, we appreciate the traveling public's patience," said WSDOT project engineer Seema Javeri. "We are completing this work at night, when traffic volumes are lowest. About 150,000 fewer vehicles use I-90 and I-405 in south Bellevue at night compared to the daytime. Nevertheless, drivers should anticipate significant delays."
Drivers can also expect multiple rolling slowdowns on I-405 at I-90 over four nights. For closure details, maps and more project information, visit the WSDOT project website or the city's traffic advisories.
"This work is part of the I-405 South Bellevue Widening Project, which will help relieve congestion at one of the worst I-405 bottlenecks -- the drive in and out of downtown Bellevue." added Javeri. "During the closures, drivers should avoid the area if possible or take alternate routes. Drivers from Seattle headed to any Eastside destination north of I-90 should use SR 520. Detours will be posted."
Cranes will lift 32 concrete girders, one at a time, onto columns that will support the new bridge. Each girder weighs as much as 170,000 pounds, slightly more than a fully loaded Boeing 737-900 aircraft. They range in length from 152 to 165 feet.
WSDOT and its contractor, Guy F. Atkinson Construction, LLC, are building the new, three-lane southbound bridge over I-90. The new bridge will have 10-foot shoulders, improving safety. Drivers will be able to use the new bridge by the end of the year.
In summer 2009, the northbound HOV lane will shift to the existing southbound bridge. This configuration allows an additional northbound general purpose lane on the existing northbound bridge, improving traffic flow. The new bridge could accommodate future expansion when funding becomes available.
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