From 11 p.m. Friday, Aug. 14, to noon Sunday, Aug. 16, crews will close all lanes and ramps of SR 520 between 92nd Avenue Northeast and Montlake Boulevard. The westbound SR 520 transit lane between 84th Avenue Northeast and Evergreen Point Road will be closed from 11 p.m. Friday, Aug. 14, to 5 a.m. Monday, Aug. 17. Transit riders should check Metro rider alerts for the most up-to-date information on where to catch their bus this weekend. During this closure, WSDOT crews will perform annual maintenance activities on the existing bridge including testing of the existing drawspan.
We encourage travelers to plan ahead during a busy Seattle summer weekend of sporting events and festivals. When SR 520 is closed, use alternative options like I-90, transit and carpools, as needed. To see a list of the major events and closures in the region in August, check out WSDOT’s interactive closure and event calendar.
Crews spray down the deck of the new, temporary westbound SR 520 off-ramp to Montlake Boulevard to keep it moist in the hot weather before placing wet burlap to let the concrete cure. (Photo – WSDOT)
On Friday, July 10 the House approved the final agreement on Transportation. I’m happy to have supported it, though I have some concerns. (You always do when it’s a compromise between groups with very different views about the appropriate set of investments.)
- The SR 520 bridge will be finished. There is $1.6 billion in the package for the remaining part of the West landing. There is also funding for a new SR 520 interchange at 148th Ave. to support major developments in the Overlake area. This should help alleviate a lot of the slowdowns in that area and allow more density so that we have less sprawl. Also included is planning for a new interchange on SR 520 at 124th Ave. that will allow the Spring District in Bellevue to grow and have rational access to the freeway.
- A new I-405 lane from Bellevue to Renton, plus lots of work on the SR 167 interchange.
- Sound Transit III authorized.
- This package is the largest investment in bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure ever in our state. There are some super Eastside projects I’ll write about once I deconstruct the whole package.
The Bad: Continue reading “Transportation!”
[Update 7/13/15] The text below is from WSDOT, not from me. They are offering this tour. It’s probably full by now anyway. They may offer more, so it’s worth watching the space if you are interested.
Registration opens today for next public tour of the new SR 520 floating bridge
Are you curious about complex feats of technical engineering? Have you driven on the world’s longest floating bridge and wondered about the slightly longer floating bridge taking shape right alongside? Do you enjoy wearing a hard hat and reflective vest?
If so, you’re going to love this news. Registration opens today (July 2) at 10 a.m. for the next of our summer public tours of the new SR 520 floating bridge. Leaving from Medina, these guided tours will give you a hardhat-required look at the new bridge, from vantage points not typically accessible to the general public.
Visit our website for full information and links to put your name in for a spot. The tours take place on the last Saturday of each month, beginning in May and lasting through September.
Demand has been very high for these tours, and spots are limited. So signing up is not a guarantee of securing a spot. Tour participants will be randomly selected from those signed up, with separate sign-ups held prior to each month’s tour.
Additionally, we are offering tours of the West Approach Bridge North project in Montlake. The next tour of this project is Wednesday, Aug. 5. Information about these tours also is available on our website.
If you are crazy enough to actually want to track the arrival of pontoons to the new 520 bridge project online – here are the links. These are the last 3 pontoons. In addition, WSDOT is running a photo contest about pontoons. Here’s the link.
The journey from Grays Harbor is nearly complete and we expect the final three SR 520 pontoons to arrive on Lake Washington tomorrow, Thursday, April 9.
Below is a table indicating estimated arrival times for each pontoon and a link to where you can track their location as they arrive on Lake Washington. Please note, actual arrival times may vary due to towing conditions.
||Estimated time of arrival at
Hiram M. Chittenden Locks
3015 NW 54th St.
|Tugboat tracking link
||Tugboat Nancy M
The construction effort on 520 is about to move to the West side, after a long, long slog of a project. The last pontoons will be on the lake by November (if the creek don’t rise) and the details of the Eastside project will get finalized. The communication below is from Julie Meredith, the Program Administrator for the entire project (and one of my favorite engineers.)
If you check out some of the links you’ll see that the part of the new bridge that connects to the existing 520 is mostly temporary. it’s a complicated dance to keep the project moving forward without totally disrupting
Continue reading “Progress Update on the 520 Project”
The SR 520 program is making lots of progress this summer – with 46 pontoons now on Lake Washington and a new Eastside transit stop open for transit riders! Today we also celebrated a new construction milestone on the floating bridge—installation of the first transition span. More details below.
Transition span installation on June 27
Today crews began installing the first of four transition spans for the new SR 520 floating bridge. This first span will connect the new floating bridge with the stationary east approach, south segmental bridge near Medina. This section of the transition span is composed of five steel girders, each 190 feet long, over seven feet tall, and weighing about 45 tons.
Continue reading “520 Progress – New Status Report from Chief Engineer”
The Eastside portion of the 520 project will reach a major milestone this summer – it’ll be mostly done by August/September. There will be punchlist work for some of the fall, but major disruptions should end. I know it’s been a bear of a project.
Over the next few weeks you’ll see some major changes in traffic flow. I am sure it will be seriously aggravating. Closing the entire corridor for a year would have been worse. Letting it sink in a storm worse still.
The attached email from the 520 project people details what you should expect over the next few weeks. It’ll be closed every weekend except June 16-18 to allow for the UW graduation.
SR 520 construction notification_ Upcoming weekend closures and construction activities.
Thanks for the 4000-5000 folks who listened to a segment of our telephone town hall last week. There were a lot of questions asked. If you have an extra hour and want to listen to the recording of the questions I answered here it is. I said I’d answer questions left on voicemail at the end, and we had the following two that we didn’t get to:
520 – When will Construction End? (Ever?)
According to the WSDOT website, the Eastside portion (405 to the lake in Medina) of the project will be finished in the summer of 2014. I think this means that “Cars will be able to drive on it, and most major construction will be done.” I expect there to be some finishing work afterwards, but the major construction should be finished.
Continue reading “Follow-up from Telephone Town Hall – Foster Care and 520 Bridge Schedule”
I made some remarks at the Bellevue Rotary yesterday that seem to have been misinterpreted by some people, so I’m clarifying:
Passing a transportation package this session is incredibly important for the Puget Sound region. I support a well-designed package.
Starting in January King County Metro will start reducing service to make up for an expiring car tab fee the state authorized them to charge several years ago. You can see the proposed reductions here. The Eastside cuts will result in significantly increased congestion as commuters shift to single-occupancy cars.
The 520 bridge project will stop planning for the next phase. They will lay off the design team, making it difficult to re-start the project, costing millions and adding years of delay. If no package is passed we will have a bridge that has 6 lanes all the way to Foster island, which turns out to not be all that helpful. The exit to Montlake will be dysfunctional and highly congested as buses and HOVs cross three lanes of traffic to get off and on. The vulnerable parts of the bridge will remain – the hollow pillars on the west approach to Montlake and the Portage Bay Viaduct, and could fail in an earthquake or by being struck by a barge. (This happened a few years ago and did serious damage to one of the pillars.)
- The Seattle metro area has some of the worst congestion in the nation. In 2012 our area was the 4th worst in the nation, according to the Tom-Tom data company. (Link here.) This is a deterrent to businesses locating here, and fixing it has been a major ask of the Boeing Company, Microsoft, and a host of other major employers. As I’m sure you have figured out by now it’s also quite painful to live through.
I support a large transportation investment package to improve this situation and will vote for a package that makes sense.
However, I don’t support just ANY transportation package – it needs to be good for the central Puget Sound. (Other parts of the state care about the impact on their area, which makes putting together a package an incredibly difficult balancing act.) A good package will have a number of key elements: Continue reading “Transportation”
I’m in Olympia today at the behest of Governor Inslee. He called us in to, in his words:
“I am asking lawmakers to pass a package of legislation that will guarantee that the Boeing 777X and its carbon fiber wing are built in Washington state,” Inslee said at a press conference today where he was joined by a bipartisan group of legislators, Boeing’s Ray Conner, chief executive officer of Boeing Commercial Airplanes. In addition, Machinist union officials Tom Wroblewski, president, Mark Johnson, aerospace coordinator, and Rich Michalski, general vice president, joined the group.
“If we can do this in the next seven days, we can be certain that Washington’s aerospace future will be as bright as its past,” said Inslee.
Continue reading “Boeing, Special Sessions, Tax Policy, and Transportation”