CHOKEPOINTS

Montlake Bridge to close for a month this summer

Mar 30, 2021, 5:11 AM | Updated: 5:56 am
Montlake bridge...
84 individual metal grids make up the deck of the Montlake Bridge. (Photo courtesy of WSDOT)
(Photo courtesy of WSDOT)

It’s never too early to warn you about a month long closure of a very busy route.

Drivers need to be prepared for a month-long closure of the Montlake Bridge in August, cutting off access to the 60,000 vehicles a day that use that span.

The Montlake Bridge was built in 1924. It is an old-fashioned, metal grate bridge. To say it’s noisy and bumpy to drive over would be an understatement.

“This is an aging bridge with a metal deck that is coming apart,” the Washington State Department of Transportation‘s Joe Calabro said.

The bridge hasn’t had any major repairs since 1998, and it’s time to show it some love.

“This bridge deck was last replaced over 20 years ago, and it’s worn to the point that it’s coming apart,” Calabro said. “In 2020, our crews had to weld patches onto the metal grid deck nine different times.

Putting bandage after bandage on the bridge just doesn’t make sense, so they are going to replace all 84 metal grids in one closure.

“This involves a 26-day continuous closure to vehicle traffic in August,” Calabro said.

WSDOT is targeting Aug. 9 to Sept. 3 for the closure, which would squeeze it in between the end of Seafair and the start of Labor Day weekend.

Pedestrian and boat traffic will be available during this month-long closure, but later in the fall, Calabro said workers will need to close the corridor to everyone on five weekends. The state is still working with the Coast Guard on how to keep boats moving through the closures.

Reconnection of Seattle’s Montlake neighborhood begins

Contractors working on the Montlake Bridge and those working on the 520 Bridge project in Montlake are coordinating their efforts during these closures so some necessary 520 work can be done at the same time.

“We can combine closures with the closures that project plans to do on Montlake Boulevard, so that we can limit the effects to the community,” Calabro said.

The 520 Project was expected to close Montlake Boulevard later this year as it works to tie-in the new lid over the freeway, which is under construction. A lot of that work will be done during the bridge work.  Montlake Boulevard is expected to transition to the new lid in the fall.

I know it’s only late March, and August seems like a long time from now, but Calabro wants you to have this in the back of your mind as you make summer plans.

“It’s really important for people to stay informed and plan ahead for these closures,” he said.

You should expect a lot more traffic through the Montlake neighborhood streets and on the University Bridge during these closures.

Check out more of Chris’ Chokepoints.

Chokepoints

WSDOT...
Chris Sullivan

WSDOT accounts for 21% of state employees fired over vaccine mandate

Of 1,887 state employees that lost their jobs over the vaccine mandate, the largest group was from the Washington State Department of Transportation.
2 days ago
Maple Valley Highway...
Chris Sullivan

King County crews find mystery structure under Maple Valley Highway

You never know what you'll find when you dig in this corner of the country. Road crews found that out this weekend when fixing a culvert under Highway 169.
2 days ago
Climate Pledge Arena...
Chris Sullivan

Getting to Climate Pledge Arena 101: Prepare to ditch the car

The old ways of getting to the arena in downtown Seattle have intentionally been made more difficult so that public transit is a more palatable option.
7 days ago
I-5, bumps...
Chris Sullivan

Why there are bumps along I-5 through downtown Seattle (and when they’ll go away)

When KIRO Radio's Dave Ross asks you to update something for him, you do it. So what's with those annoying bumps on I-5 SB out of downtown Seattle?
9 days ago
I-90, grooves...
Chris Sullivan

Why are portions of I-90 near Snoqualmie Pass so ‘groovy’?

Another question from Chris Sullivan's recent driving: What's with the horizontal grooves on portions of I-90, east of Snoqualmie Pass?
14 days ago
traffic, right lane...
Chris Sullivan

Chokepoint Challenge: Stay in the right lane to get through traffic faster

In Sully's first "Chokepoint Challenge," he wants you to test the theory that when traffic is backed up, you move faster in the right lane than the left.
16 days ago

Sponsored Articles

...

Medicare open enrollment for 2022 starts Oct. 15 and SHIBA can help!

Washington State Office of the Insurance Commissioner SPONSORED — Medicare’s Open Enrollment Period, also called the Annual Election Period, is Oct. 15 to Dec. 7. During this time, people enrolled in Medicare can: Switch from Original Medicare to a Medicare Advantage plan and vice versa. Join, drop or switch a Part D prescription drug plan, […]
...

How to Have a Stress-Free Real Estate Experience

The real estate industry has adapted and sellers are taking full advantage of new real estate models. One of which is Every Door Real Estate.
...
IQ Air

How Poor Air Quality Is Affecting Our Future Athletes

You cannot control your child’s breathing environment 100% of the time, but you can make a huge impact.
...
Swedish Health Services

Special Coverage: National Prostate Cancer Awareness Month

There are a wide variety of treatment options available for men with prostate cancer. The most technologically advanced treatment option in the Northwest is Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy using the CyberKnife platform.
...
Marysville Police Department

Police Opportunities in a Growing, Supportive Washington Community

Marysville PD is looking for both lateral and entry level officers. Begin or continue your career in law enforcement for a growing, supportive community.
...
Comcast

Small, Minority-Owned Businesses in King County and Pierce County Can Now Apply For $10,000 Relief Grants Through Comcast RISE

Businesses in King County and Pierce County can apply beginning on October 1, 2021, at www.ComcastRISE.com for a chance to receive a $10,000 relief grant.
Montlake Bridge to close for a month this summer