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Renton drivers rejoice: Lind Avenue overpass over I-405 reopens after 2 years

Jun 1, 2024, 6:00 PM

Image: The Lind Avenue overpass over Interstate 405 in Renton reopened to traffic on Thursday, May ...

The Lind Avenue overpass over Interstate 405 in Renton reopened to traffic on Thursday, May 30, 2024 after being shut down for nearly two years. (Image courtesy of the Washington State Department of Transportation)

(Image courtesy of the Washington State Department of Transportation)

Drivers in the Renton area received some surprisingly welcome news ahead of — or perhaps during — their commutes Thursday morning: The Lind Avenue overpass over Interstate 405 (I-405) in Renton finally reopened after shutting down in 2022 due to an accident.

As Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) explained in a statement Thursday, the structure closed in June 2022 after a backhoe being towed on a trailer struck the bridge, seriously damaging five girders that support the overpass. Last year, a WSDOT Blog post noted the backhoe hit five of the eight girders supporting the overpass. The agency’s post went on to say that it “basically damaged every other girder, so it was more cost-effective to replace the overpass than remove some girders without damaging others.”

The rebuild involved tearing down the northern span of the bridge, replacing the girders and rebuilding the bridge deck. The WSDOT contractor, Johansen Construction, began work in October 2023 and continued through the winter and early spring months. The work also involved shutting down I-405 for days at a time so it could be completed.

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“The loss of the Lind Ave Bridge over I-405 caused significant disruption for local businesses and residents in Renton and neighboring communities,” WSDOT Project Engineer Clint Monken said in the statement posted online. “The completion of this project reconnects our local communities.”

WSDOT said it is continuing to work with the insurance company of the driver to recover costs associated with the work.

The Renton Firefighters X account (@RentonFireL864) also expressed excitement about the reopening Thursday saying in a post, in part, “Having this bridge back open will greatly improve responses when seconds matter!”

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In a fortuitous development, KIRO Newsradio traffic reporter Chris Sullivan was able to report the reopening of the overpass in the final hour of “Seattle’s Morning News” Thursday.

He praised the texter and others like him who provide him with key information he is able to pass on to the KIRO Newsradio listeners.

“I can not do this job without the great help from listeners … who clue me in to things that are happening,” Sullivan said. “I’m so thankful for you guys.”

Steve Coogan is the lead editor of MyNorthwest. You can read more of his stories here. Follow Steve on X, or email him here.

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Renton drivers rejoice: Lind Avenue overpass over I-405 reopens after 2 years