A 6-mile stretch of 520, from Montlake to I-405, is closed this weekend for lid construction and ramp demolition work in Medina. Earlier this week, a request was made for WSDOT to open parts of the highway to pedestrians and cyclists when it has to be shut down for construction. Their response:
Due to a number of safety issues, we cannot allow bicyclists or pedestrians on SR 520 during our construction closures. During these closures, all lanes of the highway are closed to public access so that crews can tackle major construction activities such as setting girders above the highway, demolishing old overpasses, and building fish-friendly culverts. Additionally, WSDOT uses the closures to conduct inspections of the floating bridge, conduct routine maintenance, and other work on the highway in Seattle that can’t be done while the highway is open. These activities require construction vehicles, cranes, and heavy machinery to occupy the lanes of the highway, blocking the travelling lanes for motorists and creating unsafe conditions for cyclists and pedestrians.
Obviously kids, bird watchers and fun-loving cyclists don’t mix well with heavy construction equipment, but clearly there are vast stretches of highway not being worked on during the closure. How about opening the highway to pedestrians just from Montlake to the West Highrise? How about opening only the westbound lanes so that WSDOT and emergency vehicles can still safely use the eastbound lanes? How about limited hours to not interfere with bridge maintenance ?
Doesn’t seem to be a lot going on there right now, apart from the sunshine and beautiful views of the lake.
Email WSDOT at SR520Bridge@WSDOT.WA.GOV to let them know your thoughts.