WARNING: WSDOT announces one of the ‘biggest highway construction closures’ of summer

traffic296x122MERCER ISLAND, Wash —  WSDOT is calling it ‘one of the biggest highway construction closures of the summer’ and it is headed right toward Puget Sound drivers in July.

Starting at 10:00 p.m. Friday July 18th, crews will close all but a single lane of westbound I-90 just before Bellevue Way Southeast and those lanes will remain closed round-the-clock for seven days.

WSDOT needs to replace two 92-foot-long expansion joins deeply embedded in the East Channel Bridge.

“Removing and replacing these joints will be a significant task for our contractor, and simply too much work to complete with weekend closures,” said WSDOT Regional Administrator Lorena Eng. “There’s no getting around the fact that we are going to see traffic backups. But, we can’t wait any longer to replace these expansion joints, and risk that they will fail.”

The week-long closure will be split into two stages and here’s how WSDOT describes those two stages:

Stage one
•    Crews will close the three left lanes of westbound I-90 between I-405 and Bellevue Way Southeast.
•    Westbound I-90 will narrow down to just one lane at Bellevue Way Southeast and widen to three lanes just before the East Channel Bridge.
•    The Bellevue Way HOV on-ramp to westbound I-90 will be closed around-the-clock. All drivers will use the general purpose on-ramp.
•    The southbound I-405 ramp to westbound I-90 will be closed around-the-clock. All drivers will use the general purpose on-ramp.

Stage two
•    The three right lanes will be closed between I-405 and Bellevue Way Southeast.
•    Westbound I-90 will remain just one lane near Bellevue Way Southeast and widen to three lanes just before the East Channel Bridge.
•    The Bellevue Way general purpose on-ramp to westbound I-90 will be closed around-the-clock.
•    The southbound I-405 HOV ramp to westbound I-90 will be closed around-the-clock.

The expansion joint over the bicycle/pedestrian path on I-90 will also be replaced. The path will remain open during the day. However, pedestrians and cyclists may experience delays of up to five minutes nightly from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m.

All I-90 lanes and ramps are scheduled to reopen by 5 a.m. Friday, July 25. However, WSDOT is offering a financial incentive to Mowat Construction to reopen all lanes early.

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