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VIEWFINDER: A Weekend on the State Route 520 Bridge

The State Route 520 bridge reopened to traffic two hours later than planned Monday morning, after a weekend full closure that saw annual maintenance inspections and the demolition of an old overpass. Here are photos and video of the construction.

The State Route 520 bridge reopened to traffic two hours later than planned Monday morning, after a weekend full closure that saw annual maintenance inspections and the demolition of an old overpass.

The bridge reopening was delayed because it took longer than expected to reset concrete safety barrier near 84th Avenue Northeast, where crews demolished an overpass this weekend, according to the Washington State Department of Transportation.

Crews took care of two projects during the closure -- the renovation State Route 520 that will culminate in the construction of the new State Route 520 Bridge, and the annual inspection of the floating portion of the existing bridge.

Drawspan maintenance

Bridge supervisor Archie Allen said that crews inspected parts of the drawspan, which rises several times a day for boat traffic, to find out whether any of the parts show wear or need replacing. The goal is to prepare the bridge for the windy and stormy winter conditions, when the bridge sees more wear and tear due to weather, he said.

Workers changed the drawspan's hydraulic fluid and also checked whether the bridge is straight so any deviations could be corrected, he said.

Any parts that need replacing can be coordinated with the renovation of State Route 520, Allen said.

Construction

State construction crews also worked on the renovation of State Route 520, which will culminate in the installation of a new six-lane bridge span.

Work included construction and demolition at the lids at 92nd and 84th avenues northeast and construction on fish culverts, according to Mike Cotten, design-build director for the 520 Bridge Project. 

Drivers on Northbound Bellevue Way will no longer have access to SR 520 from Bellevue Way as the the onramp is under construction. The access is expected to reopen next year. 

This closure was related to the . The project, which is west of Evergreen Point Road to east of 108th Avenue NE in Bellevue will do the following:

  • Widen SR 520 and create carpool lanes in both directions.
  • Widen the shoulders, so disabled vehicles will not block the lanes of traffic.
  • Create three landscaped lids over SR 520, two with access to new transit stops.
  • Add a bike and pedestrian lane to SR 520.
  • Create environmental improvements, including improvements to streams and noise barriers.

Overall, the project is part of a $4.65 billion plan to improve SR 520. The state legislature decided that $2.37 billion of the amount will be paid through state and federal funding and tolls. The rest has yet to be determined.

More information on the Eastside Transit and HOV Project can be found on the WSDOT website.

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