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Traffic Alert: Repaving Island Crest Way Begins

Road crews are laying asphalt Wednesday and Thursday on Island Crest Way between Merrimount Way and SE 53rd Street, shutting down the road for several hours at a time.

Repaving work on Island Crest Way is finally underway after construction crews spent the past several weeks laying the groundwork of , and , according to a city press release.

City street engineers are urging residents to plan ahead for major traffic delays and to use detours or alternate routes whenever possible. Yesterday, two 14-foot wide were delivered to , and Merrimount Drive was shut down for about two hours while road crews repaved the intersection of Merrimount and Island Crest Way — causing significant traffic delays.

On Wednesday, Aug. 15, the entire northbound side will be paved going southbound (pavers prefer to go uphill when possible). Side streets will be closed as the paving passes by them, but cars will be detoured north and south along 88th and 90th Avenue to get in and out of the neighborhoods east of Island Crest Way. Traffic will be running on the freshly paved southbound side and flaggers will be positioned at intersections as needed. Metro routes turning on and off 86th Ave have been rerouted for Wednesday. Expect driving delays on Island Crest Way, and consider using East Mercer Way or West Mercer Way if you need to get to the southern part of the Island. By using two paving crews on these two days, the contractor is compressing three to four days of paving work into two.
 
On Thursday, crews will be paving all the side street connections:  Merrimount, 86th Ave, SE 46, SE 47, SE 48, SE 53rd, etc. The order in which these will be done is not known. Merrimount traffic will again be detoured for several hours while it is paveed. Metro buses using Island Crest Way and 86th Ave will again be on a temporary reroute for Thursday. Driving delays on Thursday should not be as severe as Tuesday and Wednesday. Also on Thursday, Mercer Island School District is scehduled to receive another set of portable classroom buildings at , and traffic may be stopped briefly around 1 p.m. for these tractor-trailers to be escorted down Island Crest Way.
 
The project's most controversial aspect — the restriping of the roadway under a "road-diet" scheme, reducing the number of traffic lanes from four down to three — is scheduled for the week beginning on Aug. 27. Some of the pavement marking materials being used have a recommend 14-day cure time for the new asphalt before their application. Road construction crews will install temporary striping as each day’s paving gets completed, which will stay in place until the permanent markings can be installed. Aside from this slight striping delay, the project is on schedule.
 
and vehicles will be given access to any areas along the project in an emergency.
 
For more information — or to address concerns about traffic control, detours, and delays, and so he can pass them on to the contractor’s traffic control supervisor — contact City Street Engineer Clint Morris at clint.morris@mercergov.org.

(Ed. Note: The infomation in this story is from a press release.)

Peter Landsman August 15, 2012 at 04:13 PM
MISD had the entire summer to bring portables in and they chose one of the three Island Crest Way paving days? Also during yesterday's mess, PSE was installing telephone poles on West Mercer (a designated ICW detour) and had one lane closed in multiple locations! The City, PSE, and the school district could have planned better.
Kendall Watson August 15, 2012 at 04:53 PM
Peter, I was thinking the same thing. The city's construction schedule for streets almost always falls in July and August, and the MISD does a lot of prep work over the summer to get their facilities ready for the coming school year. Having known this, you would think this might have come up at the city-school district ad hoc committee's meetings and they could have perhaps picked an alternate date.
Perspective Please August 15, 2012 at 11:53 PM
This is what's note in the twitter world as a "first world problem." Imagine we are complaining that three separate needed activities that we are fortunate to get (repave a main corridor, deliver needed classrooms and remove trees from power branches) isn't good enough -- no, we have to complain because they happen around the same few days causing perhaps a few extra minutes of delay in our lives. Compared to the real issues of the day...here, around the country and around the world, it's pretty sad (but not too surprising) that we focus on the negative, minor inconvenience all this progress creates for us on a few days. First world problem indeed -- really must take this in perspective.
Perspective Please August 16, 2012 at 02:31 AM
And note that maybe they *did* coordinate. Instead of creating multiple weeks of inconvenience, maybe the two organizations got together and said let's team up to minimize the days of disruption. I can imagine a comment if these all happened on different weeks and people would first-world-complain: "Why can't they do it all at once instead of messing up 3 consecutive weeks?".
Kendall Watson August 16, 2012 at 03:07 AM
Good points, Perspective Please. To be candid here, I have no idea whether or not the city and school district coordinated on this. I would have a hard time believing they didn't, but it probably didn't reach the ad hoc committee level that I was speculating about.
Joanne August 16, 2012 at 04:44 AM
True, this is a "first world problem" but we also pay more taxes than most third world countries and expect more from our civic leaders including school and utilities. I am also guessing that Perspective Please does not live on the south end and have to deal with all of the delays :-).
Perspective Please August 16, 2012 at 01:59 PM
I do live on the south end...and have used EMW and WMW (barely any traffic and hardly any tree-cutting imposed delays) - as well as ICW to see the progress. I've enjoyed the variation and found out WMW is actually a few minutes shorter when heading into Seattle.
Kendall Watson August 16, 2012 at 05:05 PM
This is great information. Thanks for the traffic tip, Perspective Please!

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