Traffic Woes
2:23 pm
Tue July 5, 2011

Seattle traffic will not be better this weekend

You can expect region-wide congestion this weekend, the state Department of Transportation says, because State Route 520 will be closed between Montlake Boulevard in Seattle and Interstate 405 in Bellevue.

And, the city of Seattle will close the Interstate 5 ramps to and from Mercer Street.

The longest delays are expected midday Saturday and Sunday on I-5 and I-90 heading into Seattle, and on I-405 approaching I-90. The express lane schedules will change this weekend on I-5 and I-90 to help improve traffic flow.

Crews plan to dig a trench across 520 near 84th Avenue Northeast in Hunts Point to install a fish-passable culvert beneath all lanes of the highway.

The city of Seattle is closing the I-5 on- and off-ramps at Mercer Street at 11 p.m. Friday, July 8, and reopening them at 5 a.m. Monday, July 11 as part of the Mercer Corridor Project.

“We got help from drivers during last month’s closure, and we need their help again,” said Brian Dobbins, WSDOT construction engineer for the SR 520 Eastside Transit and HOV Project, said in a press release. “This is the second of up to six weekend-long closures on SR 520 between now and the end of the year. We can get a lot of work done in a weekend closure, like building huge fish-friendly culverts that span the entire highway.”

In addition to construction, WSDOT crews will inspect, test and weld parts of the floating bridge and drawspan all weekend to make needed repairs and ready the bridge for the next storm season, said Archie Allen, WSDOT bridge maintenance superintendent.

Special equipment will be used to scan for cracks in the bridge’s huge steel guide rollers. Based on the results of inspections, crews will have a few months to make any additional necessary repairs to bridge components before rough weather returns, Allen said.

On the Web:

Information on the 520 project

Information on the Mercer Corridor Project