Crews will close eastbound State Route 520 east of Montlake Boulevard this weekend to reduce the eastbound portion of the highway from three lanes to two between Montlake and the floating bridge.
The weekend closure is the second part of a two-step process to reduce and shift lanes so crews can create a new work zone in the Montlake area to build new eastbound lanes from Montlake Boulevard to the floating bridge.
All SR 520 westbound lanes will remain open, so Eastside Seattle Sounders fans can get to the MLS championship game in Seattle, but will need to take an alternate route home, according to a press release.
When this work is complete the morning of Nov. 11, the highway will have two lanes in each direction instead of three between Montlake Boulevard and the floating bridge, creating the new work zone.
The work is part of the $455 million SR 520 Montlake project that constructs new eastbound lanes between Montlake Boulevard and the new floating bridge, builds a new Montlake community-connecting lid and transit hub, rebuilds the Montlake Boulevard interchange and constructs a bike and pedestrian bridge over SR 520, the release states.
Reduced speed in new work zone
During construction, the speed limit will reduce to 40 miles per hour to keep travelers and workers safe through the mile-and-a-half work zone. Construction, including various work-zone configurations in the Montlake area, is expected to last three to four years.
“This new configuration reduces lanes from three to two in a constricted area with narrow shoulders,” Omar Jepperson, deputy administrator of the SR 520 bridge replacement and HOV program, said in the release. “Drivers will need to watch their speed and pay even more attention traveling through this area.”
When construction is complete, travelers will have three lanes in each direction all the way across Lake Washington and people will have use of a new lid over SR 520 in Seattle.
From 11 p.m., Nov. 8, to 5 a.m., Nov. 11, crews will close eastbound SR 520 between Montlake Boulevard in Seattle and 92nd Avenue Northeast on the Eastside.
All associated eastbound SR 520 on- and off-ramps will close between Montlake Boulevard and 92nd Avenue Northeast.
The SR 520 westbound lanes and the SR 520 Trail will remain open across Lake Washington. The eastbound SR 520 off-ramp to Montlake Boulevard also will stay open.
What’s ahead for SR 520
Besides creating a work zone to build a new highway lid in Seattle’s Montlake neighborhood, crews are shifting eastbound traffic onto the newly built westbound lanes.
This will create room to build the new eastbound lanes. The old eastbound lanes that travel over Lake Washington were built in the 1960s and are vulnerable to earthquakes. The new, higher-capacity eastbound lanes will be wider and have an HOV lane and shoulder, making for a safer and smoother eastbound trip to the Eastside.