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15th Avenue Bridge reopening just around the corner

January 17th, 2011 · 12 Comments

Who’s ready for the 15th Avenue Bridge to reopen to traffic?

Believe it or not, the yearlong wait is almost over, with the reopening scheduled for March, noted the most recent edition of the Maple Leaf Community newsletter (January/February/March 2011).

Kit Loo with the Seattle Department of Transportation has provided us and Pinehurst Seattle with more details to that timeline, explaining that although “the most difficult and challenging portions” of the project are completed, the March reopening date still isn’t a given.

Still in store is a new bridge overlay, which Loo says requires seven days of no rain or snow plus an ambient temperature above freezing. Hey, it could happen, but we just thought we’d warn you. Click the link below to see the complete text of Loo’s email:

At this time the most difficult and challenging portions of work, which is being done on the temporary suspended platforms below the bridge, is wrapping up.  The existing box girders have all been strengthened; the strengthening consisted of adding reinforcement steel, thickening the sides of the concrete box girders, and post-tensioning the entire bridge. These items were completed without much incident. Most of the remaining structural work, such as rebuilding the existing abutments, have also been completed. With most of the under-the-bridge work complete and some minor painting and utility relocation work scheduled to be completed by mid-January, the contractor expects to begin dismantling the suspended platform sometime at the end of this month. 

The removal of the suspended platform is expected to take several days to complete. As soon as the suspended platform is completely removed, the contractor will finalize the final deck preparation for placement of the new bridge deck overlay as well as the vehicle separation barrier. At this point the critical item would be the placement of the new bridge overlay, which is highly temperature and weather dependent. The contractor will need at least 7 clear days of no rain or snow with an ambient temperature above freezing in order to be able to place the final deck overlay. This critical project is on schedule for completion in March 2011, barring any weather-related issues. As we get closer toward determining when the deck overlay will be placed, we then work out the final details with Metro on when the buses will be re-routed back onto 15th Ave NE.

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