Both directions of State Route 520 reopened on-time this morning after crews worked half the weekend to install massive concrete girders in Medina for a future lidded overpass and to create a wider median work zone on the Eastside, according to a press release by the Washington State Department of Transportation.
Westbound drivers will notice some changes this morning: carpools and vanpools will be required to merge into general traffic lanes a half-mile farther east than before and an expanded median work zone also shifts westbound traffic slightly to the right approaching 84th Avenue Northeast.
Drivers also will travel beneath an ever-growing series of girders at Evergreen Point Road, on which the contractor will build the lid over the next few months.
“Our work is moving along at a good clip in this corridor, and drivers need to pay special attention as we adjust lane configurations so crews can build supports for future lids above the highway,” said Brian Dobbins, Washington State Department of Transportation SR 520 Eastside construction manager, in a prepared statement. “By installing these girders in Medina now, the contractor can spend the coming months building the lid that eventually will include a park and ride, transit access, landscaping and paths.”
The next major SR 520 highway closure is planned overnight during a weekend in December when crews set girders for a future lidded overpass at 92nd Avenue Northeast, according to the department of transportation.
The project will:
- Widen SR 520 and create carpool lanes in both directions.
- Widen the shoulders, so disabled vehicles will not block the lanes of traffic.
- Create three landscaped lids over SR 520, two with access to new transit stops.
- Add a bike and pedestrian lane to SR 520.
- Create environmental improvements, including improvements to streams and noise barriers.
Overall, the project is part of a $4.65 billion plan to improve SR 520. The state legislature decided that $2.37 billion of the amount will be paid through state and federal funding and tolls. The rest has yet to be determined. .
The Washington State Department of Tranportation also has more information about the closure online at www.wsdot.wa.gov/Projects/SR520Bridge/MedinaTo202/default.
-- Information from Washington State Department of Transportation and Bellevue Patch archives