Many caught in traffic from SR 520, I-405 closures

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by ELISA HAHN / KING 5 News and KING 5 News Staff

Bio | Email | Follow: @ElisaHahnK5

KING5.com

Posted on July 11, 2013 at 3:41 PM

Updated Saturday, Jul 13 at 6:15 PM

The Washington State Department of Transportation is warning drivers about some big closures for our freeways this weekend: the State Route 520 floating bridge, a section of northbound Interstate 405 and the westbound Tacoma Narrows Bridge.

Northbound I-405 from SE 8th Street to SR 520 and SR 520 from the Montlake exit to I-405 will be shut down in both directions. Both highways should reopen by 5 a.m. Monday morning.

WSDOT says this weekend's work is vital for the maintenance and preservation of critical routes for commuters and freight.

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It is not possible to perform most of this work during shorter, overnight closures.

"When you look at all the construction and maintenance that needs to get done, and all the weekends available, there are not enough weekends to go around," said Kris Olsen, spokesperson for WSDOT.

On northbound I-405, crews are replacing concrete panels in the two left-hand lanes between Southeast 8th Street and Main Street in Bellevue.

The failing panels stretch the length of a dozen football fields. Panels in the right lanes will be repaired later this summer.

On SR 520, crews will conduct an annual inspection of the floating bridge and will make any necessary repairs.
 
At the same time, Eastside Transit and HOV project crews will use the closure to install a culvert beneath all lanes of SR 520 just west of I-405. The fish-friendly culvert is 11-feet in diameter and requires digging an 100-foot wide, 34-foot deep trench across all lanes.

Full list of summer construction projects

Bellevue is bracing to take the brunt of the traffic, expecting delays on Northeast 8th Street, Bellevue Way, 116th Avenue Northeast and 148th Avenue Northeast.

WSDOT has come up with the "#Take5" hashtag on Twitter as a reminder for drivers to take five minutes to plan their detours this weekend or avoid travel in the area altogether.

The Westbound Tacoma Narrows Bridge, which was built in 1950, is closed so crews can replace a problematic expansion joint.

During that time, State Route 16 traffic will be reduced to two lanes in either direction, with both directions using the eastbound bridge. The speed limit will also be reduced to 35 mph. It's scheduled to open again at 4 a.m. Monday.

The closures coincide with this weekend's Seattle to Portland bike ride and a three game weekend series between the Mariners and the Angels.

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