News Blog for Seattle's University District Neighborhood

 

One week until SR 520 tolling begins, Good to Go cards available in the neighborhood

December 22nd, 2011 by master

Three Good to Go! workers set drivers up with accounts at the University Heights Community Center parking lot

Tolling on the SR 520 bridge begins in just one week. If you are looking for a quick and easy place to pick up a Good To Go! card, you can always swing by the University Heights Community Center during weekdays. WSDOT set up a booth in the north parking lot to sign people up. Because the tolling is done using sensors and cameras while your car speeds along, A Good to Go! account gives you the cheapest toll rate. Otherwise the department has to use an image of your license plate to track down your address and send you a bill.

Buses could get more crowded

If you’re a bus rider, be ready for more people on the bus once tolling begins. WSDOT predicts that many drivers will opt for transit rather than pay a toll. That also means park-and-ride lots will fill up earlier. On the flip-side, if you don’t mind paying the toll, the trip is likely be much quicker if significant numbers of toll avoiders take the bus or use I-90.

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Saturday morning Montlake Bridge maintenance could get noisy

November 29th, 2011 by master

If you live near the Montlake cut your Saturday morning could get a bit noisy. The Washington State Department of Transportation will perform routine maintenance on the Montlake Bridge starting as early as 7 a.m. on December 3. Most of the noise will come from the equipment maintenance crews use to suck up all the gunk that built up over the year beneath the movable parts of the bridge. The work should be wrapped up by 11 a.m.

If you’re planning to drive over the bridge Saturday morning you should also be ready for a little delay. The bridge will be reduced to one lane in each direction starting as soon as 6 a.m.

Here’s the exact schedule:

Saturday, December 3
  • 6 – 7 a.m.: Left lane closed in both directions on the bridge
  • 7 – 9 a.m.: Cleaning begins on north end of the bridge (away from the more residential southern end) using a large vacuum-type truck
  • 9 – 11 a.m.: Cleaning begins on the south side of the bridge
  • 11 – 11:30 a.m.: All lanes of the bridge reopen

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Montlake Bridge traffic alert for Saturday

November 30th, 2010 by master

WSDOT maintenance crews will clean under the Montlake Bridge this Saturday (12/4) from 6am to 11:30am. During the work, the left lane in both directions will be closed. WSDOT says some of the work will be noisy as crews clean out the large pits where the bridge counterweights sit. Expect congestion and delays during that time.

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Are noise panels on the Ship Canal Bridge working?

October 30th, 2010 by master

Now that all those noise panels are up on the I-5 Ship Canal Bridge, have you noticed any difference?  WSDOT says it just finished its first tests, and the results are mixed.  They sent crews into the field last week and took noise measurements at 18 locations.  WSDOT says the numbers show the panels are working as well as predicted in about a third of the locations, but not as well as predicted in the majority of the locations.   The biggest noise relief came on the west side of the bridge.  You can check out the noise measurements here.

WSDOT photo

WSDOT will continue to take noise measurements once each quarter and then annually for 3 years.  700 noise reducing panels were put in place as part of a $7 million pilot project with money allocated by the state legislature.

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Montlake Bridge accident leads to $8 million settlement

October 27th, 2010 by master

An accident on the Montlake Bridge three years ago turned a cyclist into a quadriplegic.  Now, the man has settled with WSDOT for $8 million dollars.  Mickey Gendler, a former high profile environmental attorney in Seattle, was riding across the bridge in October of 2007 when his bicycle tire got lodged in an inch-wide gap between sections of the metal grating.  He was thrown over the handlebars causing devastating injuries.  That gap has since been filled in, although the SeattlePI reports the state contended most cyclists use the sidewalks instead of riding over the grating.  Gendler spoke with our news partners at the Seattle Times and you can read the story here.

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Distraction on 520 at Montlake on Tuesday

October 25th, 2010 by master

WSDOT is warning about a big distraction that could cause delays across 520 on Tuesday (10/26). From 10am to 4pm, crews will use a crane to lower and assemble a barge and drill rig from an unused 520 ramp next to the westbound off-ramp to Montlake Boulevard. The equipment will be used to drill into the lakebed and shoreline to test the conditions for design work on the new 520 Bridge. You can track the project here.


Simulated view of new Montlake lid looking west (From WSDOT)

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Traffic alert: 520 bridge closed this weekend

August 18th, 2010 by master

Here’s an early heads up that the 520 bridge will be closed this weekend for its annual inspection and maintenance.  The bridge will close Friday (8/20) at 11pm and reopen by 5am on Monday.  The closure extends from Montlake Blvd to 92nd Avenue NE on the Eastside.

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Noise panels on Ship Canal Bridge

June 6th, 2010 by master

If you live near the Ship Canal Bridge, here’s some news that might help you sleep better at night.  Starting this Monday (6/7), crews will begin the process of putting up noise absorbing ceiling panels on the south end of the bridge above the express lanes.  The panels are designed to absorb and block some of the reflected traffic noise that bounces off the ceiling of the express lanes and into the surrounding neighborhoods in the U-District, Wallingford, and Eastlake. 

The impact of the panels will be studied over 3 years to see if they can be used in other projects.  Some lane closures on the express lanes will also take place during part of the installation.  You can learn more on the WSDOT’s webpage.

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