Early next week, the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) expects to reopen the new Northeast 12th Street Bridge to two-way traffic, according to a press release from the Washington State Department of Transportation.
The bridge will be closed for the final touches to the repair at 7 p.m. Friday, and is expected to reopen Tuesday, Aug. 23.
The new bridge was damaged in April when a large piece of debris of the old Northeast 12th Street bridge struck one of the girders of the new bridge while contractor crews were clearing away the old bridge a few feet north its replacement.
During the repair work, the bridge has been restricted to one lane and one-way traffic.
“Bridge repair is a complicated process, especially when the damage is to a structural component,” said Seema Javeri, project engineer for WSDOT’s Bellevue Braids project, in a prepared statement.
In the months since the damage occurred, crews repaired portions of the girder and then tested it for strength, according to the Washington State Department of Transporation. At one point, crews trucked in large weights to measure the girder deflections to assess the effectiveness of the repair, the agency said. Tests were successful, and now crews are ready to open the bridge to traffic, the agency said.
The state is not financially responsible for the repair; Atkinson Construction accepts full responsibility for the damage and will foot the bill.
“Atkinson has been great to work with and has bent over backwards to get the girder repaired and two-way traffic back on the bridge,” Javeri said in a prepared statement. “We’re putting the finishing touches on it this week and expect it to be open next week. I want to thank Bellevue residents for their patience while crews repaired the bridge.”
The bridge work is part of the $107.7 million construction Bellevue Braids construction project, which redesigns the ramps on Interstate 405 between Northeast Eighth Street and State Route 520.
Another weekend closure is expected in September to shift traffic to the new ramps, according to the state.
Once the road re-opens, Bellevue drivers will no longer have access to SR 520 from Northeast Eighth Street. Instead, they’ll use a new State Route 520 ramp originating from Northeast 10th Street that will take them directly to SR 520 without merging on to I-405. See the new configuration here.
-- Information from the Washington State Department of Transportation