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SR 520 bridge across Lake Washington to close this weekend

A crane operator drives bridge pilings into Union Bay as part of the SR 520 Montlake Project. (Photo courtesy of WSDOT)

Your options to cross Lake Washington will be limited this weekend as the Washington State Department of Transportation is closing the SR 520 bridge for another step in the construction project.

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Earlier this year, eastbound drivers were squeezed into the westbound lanes of 520 from Montlake Boulevard to the floating bridge. That was the last significant traffic shift for drivers. Now, it’s time for another one — 520 will be closed from Montlake Boulevard to 92nd Avenue Northeast from 11 p.m. Friday night to 5 a.m. Monday.

The contractor is now building the supports for the concrete lid that will go over 520, extending from Montlake Boulevard to 24th Avenue. The center pier has been built and now it’s time for the next phase.

“We’ve built the center pier, and now we’re shifting lanes close to it so we can begin to build the outer piers for the Montlake Lid,” WSDOT’s Steve Peer said.

Eventually, the lid will serve as a green space and transit hub.

Peer said drivers need to be prepared for a slight lane shift in the area come Monday.

“Drivers will notice that they are closer together, east and westbound, near Montlake,” Peer said. “The best thing to do is to slow down and follow the car in front of you.”

As for this weekend, I-90 will likely see more traffic, as well as 522 over the top of the lake. On a typical weekend, 160,000 cars usually drive across 520, but those are pre-COVID traffic numbers.  Right now, that number is closer to 106,000.

The state plans for another full bridge closure in early September, which will be more manageable since the UW will not be playing football this fall. The weekend being targeted by the state is Sept. 12-13. The Huskies were scheduled to play Sacramento State at home that weekend, before the non-conference games were canceled.

Check out more of Chris’ Chokepoints.

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