SEATTLE – Crews reopened both directions of State Route 520 this morning after working through the weekend to demolish the western half of the Bellevue Way overpass and build crucial supports for a future lid over the highway in Medina.
“Now we are ready for the next phase of work when we’ll build a new interchange at Bellevue Way and a new overpass with trails and transit facilities at Evergreen Point Road,” said Brian Dobbins, Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) SR 520 Eastside construction manager.
Sporting events and celebrations in Seattle through the weekend drew heavy traffic on Interstates 5, 90 and 405, as drivers shifted their routes away from the closed highway and ramps. WSDOT adjusted the I-90 and I-5 express lane schedules in anticipation of that congestion to help keep traffic flowing.
This weekend workers demolished the western half of the Bellevue Way overpass, removing and recycling 80 truckloads of concrete rubble and 55 tons of steel. Crews also poured concrete supports for a future lid at Evergreen Point Road, including about 100 cubic yards of concrete critical for installing dozens of girders next month. When complete, the lid will include transit facilities, community connections and landscaping.
Go online to see photos of the weekend work.
The next major highway closure will be a partial weekend in October. The closure is planned for 8 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 15, to 5 a.m. Monday, Oct. 17, to set girders at Evergreen Point Road. By scheduling major construction closures on weekends, the highway stays open for commuters and businesses during the work week.
The work is part of WSDOT’s SR 520 Eastside Transit and HOV Project, a three-year, $306-million widening of SR 520 to make it safer with more reliable travel times. When complete the highway will have three lanes in each direction from Medina to Bellevue. The project includes rebuilding interchanges, adding lanes for buses and carpools, installing fish-passable culverts and building highway lids and transit stops in the center of the highway. WSDOT awarded the design-build contract to Eastside Corridor Constructors (ECC), a joint venture of Granite Construction Company and PCL Construction Services.
Complete SR 520 highway construction closures are limited to no more than 20 weekends during the next three years. The completed corridor is scheduled to be open to traffic in December 2013.
More information about the project is online at www.wsdot.wa.gov/Projects/SR520Bridge/MedinaTo202/default.htm.