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I-90 work marks milestone for light rail to Bellevue

(AP)

One of the missing links in the construction of the light rail project to Bellevue is the section where the tracks will go over the westbound lanes of I-90 to Bellevue Way.

RELATED: Night closures of I-90 in Bellevue for light rail work

Half of the bridge connecting the tracks from the middle of I-90 to Bellevue Way is now complete, and Monday night, westbound I-90 was closed to remove the “form traveler” that built the bridge. Sound Transit’s Rachelle Cunningham said the “form traveler” builds the structure as it moves, which eliminated the need for a series of freeway closures.

“It moves twelve feet at a time,” she said. “The traveler will move out, pour the concrete, it cures, and then it moves out again. It basically spits it (the concrete) out in front of it.”

That “form traveler” will now be moved to the side of the elevated structure near Bellevue Way, and start building to middle to complete the bridge. You can expect to see some lane and ramp closures in the same area a few more nights this week. The “form traveler” should finish the second half of the bridge in November, which will also require some overnight closures of I-90.

Cunningham said this method of construction just made sense because of the limited space in the area and the freeway below.

“There’s not really any room on the freeway to put the supports that we have over I-405 where they have the form work, and they’re building it that way,” she said. “This method of construction allows us to do it without disrupting the traffic.”

Light rail to Bellevue is now more than 50-percent complete, and it is still on schedule to open in 2023, with the extension to Redmond coming a year later.

Youwill see track being laid on the floating bridge as early as this month.

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