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Best way around July I-90 work: Bike (of course)

I_90Echannel_joint_replacement510Biking is already the best way to travel along I-90 to Mercer Island and Bellevue, but it’s going to be especially so during a big lane closure scheduled for July 18 – 25.

WSDOT will work to replace expansion joints on the bridge between Mercer Island and Bellevue. This likely means traffic crunches, but people biking and walking will have a way through during the work.

While crews are working on the expansion joints along the trail, people on bikes will be escorted through the construction area. But you should plan on delays up to five minutes.


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This is one of the great advantages to building biking and walking space on major freeway bridges: It gives people another option for getting where they need to go during road work or other traffic backups. Perhaps WSDOT and the most affected cities should be conducting outreach to encourage people to bike during the work.

More details from WSDOT:

At 9:30 p.m. on Friday, July 18 contractor crews will close all but one lane of westbound I-90 just before Bellevue Way Southeast to replace the two expansion joints on the East Channel Bridge, The work will be split into two stages over the course of the seven-day lane closure.

WSDOT has created animated traffic maps to illustrate the lane closures and how traffic will flow during the work.

Stage one

I90_WB_E_Channel_Brstage161814

  • Crews will close the three left lanes of westbound I-90 between I-405 and Bellevue Way Southeast.
  • Westbound I-90 will narrow down to just one lane at Bellevue Way Southeast and widen to three lanes just before the East Channel Bridge.
  • The Bellevue Way HOV on-ramp to westbound I-90 will be closed around-the-clock. All drivers will use the general purpose on-ramp.
  • The southbound I-405 ramp to westbound I-90 will be closed around-the-clock. All drivers will use the general purpose on-ramp.

Stage two

I90_WB_E_Channel_Brstage261814

  • The three right lanes will be closed between I-405 and Bellevue Way Southeast.
  • Westbound I-90 will remain just one lane near Bellevue Way Southeast and widen to three lanes just before the East Channel Bridge.
  • The Bellevue Way general purpose on-ramp to westbound I-90 will be closed around-the-clock.
  • The southbound I-405 HOV ramp to westbound I-90 will be closed around-the-clock.

The expansion joint over the bicycle/pedestrian path on I-90 will also be replaced. The path will remain open during the day. However, pedestrians and cyclists may experience delays of up to five minutes nightly from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m.

All I-90 lanes and ramps are scheduled to reopen by 5 a.m. Friday, July 25. However, WSDOT is offering a financial incentive to Mowat Construction to reopen all lanes early. Mowat can receive $50,000 per day up to $100,000 for early completion.


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3 responses to “Best way around July I-90 work: Bike (of course)”

  1. Denise

    Ha, my office has just spent the last 2 hours bitching about car commuting delays due to this bridge work. As I cyclist, I smugly don’t care. :) The DOT was super-accommodating a few years back when they did this, it’s awesome to see they’re being helpful again. I told my officemates, looks like it’s a good time to try out cycling to work! :)

  2. […] best one I’ve heard is to bike to work. Tom Fucoloro mentioned it as his blog (Best way around July I-90 work, bike – of course), and Velo Bus Driver and Bellevue Transpo are among those who tweeted […]

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