Construction pain coming this weekend for West Seattle, Lake Washington

Mar 4, 2021, 5:09 AM | Updated: 10:47 am
Montlake lid SR 520, construction...
An aerial view of the Montlake freeway lid girders over SR 520 in February 2021. (Photo courtesy of WSDOT/Flickr)
(Photo courtesy of WSDOT/Flickr)

I hope you have your plans together for this weekend because construction is going to get in your way out of West Seattle and across Lake Washington.

West Seattle drivers have been dreading this 10-day stretch of construction. The KIRO Radio text line and my own inbox have been busy with people asking how to get around it, and what this closure will do to their lives.

As we told you last week, contractors have to replace the 25-year-old bearings on the southbound lanes of the First Avenue South Bridge. To do that, the state has to close down the lanes. Friday and Saturday night, all southbound lanes will be closed from 9 p.m. until 6 a.m. Then, starting Wednesday, two of the four southbound lanes will be closed 24 hours a day through the following Monday.

The Washington State Department of Transportation’s Tom Pearce says drivers need to plan for delays.

“We’re encouraging people to use alternate routes, and it really depends on where you’re going,” he said. “There’s East Marginal Way South, there’s Tukwila International Boulevard, Interstate 5, and the South Park Bridge.”

The City of Seattle is trying to ease the pain for West Seattle drivers during this weekend closure. The Lower Spokane Street Bridge will be open to all vehicles for an extra hour both Friday and Saturday nights. It will be open from 9 p.m. to 6 a.m. each day. After that the low bridge is still restricted. You risk a $75 ticket if you’re caught by photo enforcement crossing during the restricted hours.

The 520 Floating Bridge won’t be an option for you this weekend either. Both directions of the bridge will be closed as the contractor installs the final 30 girders on the Montlake Lid.

The 520 closure was originally planned as just a one direction closure, but the state needs both directions to finish the work. All lanes across the lake will close at 11 p.m. Friday, March 5, until 5 a.m. Monday, March 8. WSDOT’s Steve Peer said there just isn’t room to do the job with cars nearby.

“One of the reasons we need to completely shut it down is we need to bring these girders in, and these are large girders that come in and cranes pick them up, and they’re hoisted into place,” Peer said. “There’s no room for traffic.”

All eastbound traffic will be diverted off 520 at Montlake Boulevard. All westbound traffic will be diverted off at 92nd Avenue Northeast.

The bike and pedestrian path on the north side of the floating bridge will be open.

Check out more of Chris’ Chokepoints.


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Construction pain coming this weekend for West Seattle, Lake Washington