CHOKEPOINTS

Here’s your warning: Seattle’s SR 520 will be fully closed all weekend

Sep 29, 2022, 6:00 AM | Updated: 11:31 am

We’ve been warning you all week because we don’t want a repeat of last weekend: State Route 520 will be closed this weekend. The closure is between Interstate 5 in Seattle and 92nd street in Clyde Hill, and you need to have your travel plans prepared.

For 520 drivers, this should be nothing new. The Washington Department of Transportation (WSDOT) routinely closes the highway and the floating bridge for ongoing work through Montlake. You’ve dealt with this before, and this weekend shouldn’t present any new challenges.

“It will be a typical 55-hour weekend closure from 11 p.m. Friday night to 5 a.m. Monday morning in time for the morning commute,” WSDOT’s Steve Peer said. “We’re closing 520 from I-5 all the way to 92nd on the east side and all of the associated on and off ramps.”

Peer made it quite clear: No one is getting on 520 this weekend. No access to Montlake from I-5. No access from I-5 to Montlake. No access across the lake. Period.

Unlike last weekend’s closure of westbound I-90, where there was access to Mercer Island and one access point that gave drivers the impression they could traverse the island and make the trip in less than five hours, there is no access for 520.

WB I-90 now re-open; many furious over construction planning

The Seahawks and Huskies are not at home either, which should ease some of the extra drivers we saw last weekend.

And avoiding those conflicts, Peer said, is something WSDOT tries to do.

“Our scheduling looks regionally all the time, and we work with the Revive I-5 project and everything else to make sure we are open for business as much as we can,” he said.

Here are your options for getting around, including some other lane closures on I-5.

“405 is completely open,” Peer said. “I-90 completely open. I-5 mostly open, with the exception of one southbound lane near the West Seattle Freeway, the off-ramp to the West Seattle Freeway and Columbian Way, and the off-ramp to Mercer Street.”

An exclusive look at Seattle’s 520 bridge project from the construction platform

Now that you know what’s happening, here is why it’s happening.

The work zone that currently runs between the east and westbound lanes of 520 through the Montlake Lid project needs to be expanded.

“We need more elbow space to do the work,” Peer said. “There’s a lot of work that needs to happen to get to the next phase of construction. We need this weekend to get that done.”

Contractors need to install a new column in the middle of that work zone to support the new pedestrian and bike overpass just east of Montlake, and they need to install columns in the middle on the west end to support the further expansion of the new lid.

Drivers on Monday will notice that their lanes will have shifted slightly to the right to accommodate the larger work zone.

The pedestrian and bike path on 520 will remain open during this weekend’s closure.

Check out more of Chris’ Chokepoints.

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Here’s your warning: Seattle’s SR 520 will be fully closed all weekend