11/24/2014

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As summer road work begins, drivers should expect delays

As summer road work begins, drivers should expect delays
SEATTLE -- This summer promises to be packed full of weekend road closures around Puget Sound as the Department of Transportation gears up for more than a dozen construction projects.

The big problems could start the weekend of July 13, when the 520 Bridge shuts down for two days.

But whether they're heading north, south, east or west, drivers are bound to bump into closures and detours throughout the summer.

Seattle traffic will be slow starting July 5, as a section of busy Aurora Avenue is shut down at Mercer Street.

"We'll be demolishing the eastern half of Aurora -- SR-99 -- putting all the traffic on the other side. We'll still have two lanes in each direction," said Peter Hahn with the Seattle Department of Transportation.

Work crews will be replacing a section of Aurora to accommodate a separate widening project for Mercer.

"We understand the weekend closures are not ideal," said Lorena Eng with the State Department of Transportation.

Drivers then need to brace for a new shock on the weekend of July 13. In addition to the closure of the 520 Bridge, the northbound lanes of I-405 through Bellevue will also be closed to traffic.

Westbound drivers will have to find another way around a partial Tacoma Narrows closure that same weekend.

There's more in store for August, when drivers headed north on I-405 through Bellevue will be diverted once again.

"People say, 'Why don't you wait until the big projects are done to continue with your preventative maintenance?' Well, we can't do that because, as I mentioned, our highways are aging and we want to do preventative maintenance rather than wait for an emergency," Eng said.

The work will improve roads, but drivers are going to have to pay up front with their time and patience.
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