The state Route 18 overpass at Issaquah-Hobart Road will see repairs starting as work crews initiate a constant lane closure until mid-July. The closures began on Monday.
Tucci & Sons Inc., a Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) contractor, will close one lane at a time as they repave the overpass in conjunction with the ongoing eastbound repaving. Essentially, the closure will extend the westbound, single-lane portion of SR 18 by about half a mile until crews repair the 40-50 pothole patches that range from a few inches long to more than 10 feet.
“Although we inspect it regularly and make spot repairs as needed, the 23-year-old driving surface across this overpass is worn to the point that it needs to be replaced,” WSDOT spokesperson Nicole Daniels said. “The Legislature provided WSDOT with the necessary funding to repave the bridge this year.”
Daniels added the damaged roadway has been worn down by years of fluctuating weather, a growing frequency of vehicles traveling across the bridge and heavier loads from freight trucks.
As the crews repave, the highway speed limit will decrease to 50 mph within the work zone around-the-clock. The repave will also require at least eight full, overnight closures across the overpass as crews pour concrete. The Issaquah-Hobart Road on- and off-ramps will serve as the work zone bypass with a police officer directing intersection traffic during the closure.
“Repaving the overpass will preserve the structure and provide a smoother ride for the 12,000 vehicles that use this stretch of highway each day,” project engineer Mike Askarian said.
The first full closure is scheduled for 10 p.m. on May 5 to 5 a.m. on May 6. WSDOT will announce all future closures as they’re scheduled on the construction webpage, www.wsdot.wa.gov/travel/construction-updates/king#SR18.
Once crews finish the first lane, they’ll direct traffic over the newly repaved lane and continue work on the remaining lane. Oversized vehicles will be prohibited from traveling in the westbound direction across the overpass throughout the repaving project.
The four-mile eastbound repaving project extends from Southeast 304th Street in Auburn to Southeast 256th Street in Covington and began construction in April. Work crews expect to finish the $4.4 million project in the fall.
“All of this work is part of our ongoing efforts to maintain and preserve our aging state highways,” wrote Tom Pearce on the WSDOT blog. “Thank you, as always, for your patience and cooperation.”