Steel and concrete work has finished on the State Route 99 George Washington Memorial Bridge, a.k.a. the Aurora Bridge, and repairs to three specially designed expansion joints (see a photo on Flickr) has nearly done. All the current seismic repairs, begun in June 2011, has better prepared the structure in the event of an earthquake. This work has also included wrapping of columns that support the structure in concrete, in Fremont, and in steel in Queen Anne.
“While no one can predict the magnitude or location of an earthquake, this work will help this vital north-south corridor to recover more quickly in the event of a significant quake,” said Carl Barker, assistant project engineer with the Washington State Department of Transportation.
Between Oct. 1st and Oct. 15th, crews will close lanes both day and night to chip out the expansion joints and add new bearings and new wedges underneath the joints.
Neighbors can expect intermittent noisy work between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m. on weeknights. Crews are also planning a weekend-long closure Oct. 5-8 when the Alaskan Way Viaduct is closed for its semi-annual maintenance inspection and traffic on SR 99 is expected to be lighter.
“We know nearby residents are anxious for us to be finished. When we are done, drivers and neighbors can rest easier knowing that this bridge is stronger,” said Barker. The majority of work on the project is expected to be completed by November.
This $5.7 million project was funded through the federal and state gas tax and built by Massana Construction, Inc. Information on the overall project can be found on-line,
An additional note from the Washington Department of Transportation:Work zones in the Interstate 90 at Snoqualmie Pass have automated traffic cameras in place to increase worker safety, and capture license plate numbers of cars speeding. Citations for $137 were recently mailed to 169 vehicle owners for drivers caught speeding between Sep. 17th and 21st.
Roadside signs identify a small sport utility vehicle parked near the highway, monitoring speeds in the eastbound and westbound directions. A camera inside the SUV captures the rear license plates of vehicles going over the posted speed limit.
More information, a sample infraction, question-and-answer section and public-feedback form are available on-line. WSDOT plans to keep the automated speed enforcement in the I-90 Snoqualmie Pass work zone until construction stops for winter.