Overnight closures planned on SR-518 through July

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Overnight closures on SR-518 are planned through July, and the Washington State Department of Transportation is warning drivers to be aware and plan ahead.

Beginning Tuesday, May 28, crews working with the WSDOT will start replacing concrete panels along a three-quarter-mile stretch of SR-518 between I-5 and SR-99. Drivers can expect overnight, multi-lane closures during construction, although the eastbound and westbound ramps to the airport will remain open.

This area is heavily used by airport travelers and freight companies. In 2012, drivers made an average of 112,000 daily trips between the Airport Expressway and I-5. WSDOT maintenance crews say most drivers probably can’t feel it yet, but the cracks spreading across the roadway like spider webs are a sure sign the pavement is failing.

“The pavement is cracking, and we know that if we don’t do something soon, the roadway will deteriorate even more,” said WSDOT Project Engineer Janice Fahning.

During construction, crews may close all but one lane of SR 518 in each direction overnight Monday through Thursday. Additionally, all lanes of eastbound SR 518 will be closed overnight for up to four weekends. Drivers will follow a signed detour and should allow an extra 10-15 minutes to reach the airport or consider using an alternate route.

Crews from Atkinson Construction are scheduled to complete the work on SR 518 by Aug. 1.

Nightly road-closure information for SR 518 is available on the King County construction update website.

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5 Responses to “Overnight closures planned on SR-518 through July”
  1. cb says:

    I wonder if the thousands of trips the dumptrucks made hauling the 3rd runway dirt had any impact on the westbound lanes. Is the POS on the hook for any of the repair cost?

    • Brett says:

      Your absolutely correct about the thousands of trips of dirt hauling dump trucks-23 million cubic yards by Port reports.

      Many of the trucks were grossly overweight. One I remember was 30,000 pounds over, some had bald tires, bad brakes, defective equipment and “lane travel violations”. The State Patrol issued hundreds and hundreds of citations after weighing the trucks, checking them for safety violations.

      C.A.S.E. asked the same questions about who pays for the obvious impacts. The answer: fuel taxes they pay and we all pay.

      So, we pay for the broken up highways with our fuel taxes, the runway they built with all that dirt will only be used for inclement weather arrivals and computer models shrink the noise impacted area for insulation programs. Such a deal! More flights over our homes equals less noise.

  2. Mike says:

    Unfortunately Brett your facts are wrong on the “many trucks were grossly overweight” statement. Less than 10% were actually overweight. And out of those few trucks, they were only 1-2,000 lbs over. The drivers were instructed not to haul over because the port wouldnt pay for anything over the trucks legal weight. No one intentionally overloaded the trucks. There used to be a record of the weights online years back when we finished the haul. You are right about WSP issuing approximately 300 tickets. The part your leaving out is that most if not all the tickets were tossed due to wsp putting “3rd runway truck” on all the tickets therefore they were profiling.

    • Brett says:

      Mike, Interesting. We bought and reviewed ALL the records, thousands and thousands of them. 10% of tens of thousands of hauls iare still a lot of overweight trucks. The weight records show some of the worst at 30,000 pounds over weight. It just takes one and there were several–well over 1,200 pounds overweight.

      Some were just overweight on certain axles from uneven distribution, still a potential hazard for equipment and tire failure. Large pieces of truck and trailer tires could be found all along the routes, another hazard for drivers hitting them.

      “tossed due to wsp putting “3rd runway truck” on all the tickets therefore they were profiling.”

      I hadn’t heard that “3rd rw truck” profiling was the issue as clearly they were hauling dirt to the 3rd runway project in steady streams, sometimes bumper to bumper to 3rd rw off ramps.

      What we did hear is that the WSP failed to transfer the ticket evidence files from their Shoreline? offices to the Court hearing the case in time so ALL the tickets for that day in court were tossed.

      The good thing is, equipment violations were mostly fixed, weight violations minimized. Of the 18 predicted deaths there was tragically one at I-5 & SR518. The State Patrol is to be highly commended for their efforts protecting public safety getting the dirt hauling contractors to correct dangerous safety issues and follow the law.

      cb’s question was “is the Port on the hook for any of the repair cost”.

      The short answer is NO. There is no special 3rd runway fund for road repairs, only common fuel and road taxes pay for it. Clearly, “the cracks spreading across the roadway like spider webs are a sure sign the pavement is failing”. Many are beyond the regular airport exits. The road surface was certainly impacted by the heavy use of the dirt haulers.

      Perhaps the Port will step up and help make it right.

      Thanks for your comments.

  3. mike says:

    I agree with you on the WSP doing an excellent job on the project. The supers worked closely with them on the issues and had good outcomes. We even had a trooper ride with some of the trucks after having aggressive drivers cut off some of the trucks and slam the brakes on trying to cause an accident. WSP eventually caught the most aggressive driver (I think he was in a red camaro)
    I don’t know if the Port is on the hook for repairs but the trucks were limited to using the center lane coming up 518 to minimize the damage to one lane.

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