sr509pavertwo Contractor crews for WSDOT will repair this stretch of southbound SR 509 in Burien in summer 2015.[/caption] [caption id="attachment_84546" align="aligncenter" width="490"]410of5091 Here you can see large cracks in the highway. Following the pavement project, drivers will notice a smoother ride. Photos courtesy WSDOT.[/caption] Starting the week of April 6, contractor crews working for the Washington State Department of Transportation will begin work to repave southbound SR 509 from South 112th Street to South 160th Street. The initial work consists of spot pavement repair on the highway and some ramps before paving the southbound lanes begins later this spring. The pavement on this three and a half mile stretch of SR 509 is 20 years old in some areas. Referred to as the Burien Freeway by locals, the roadway is cracking and there are spots where the pavement is pulling apart. The highway carries 27,000 vehicles daily. “Repaving this popular route to the airport, Burien, Normandy Park and Des Moines is necessary to keep the highway in good working condition,” said WSDOT Project Engineer Mike Askarian. “It’s overdue for repaving and this work will add another 15 years of life to the highway.” Lane and ramp closure information  Drivers should plan ahead for possible delays when southbound lanes and ramps are closed. Lane closures on the highway and local streets may occur during day and night. Ramps will only be closed at night. In addition, all southbound lanes of SR 509 between South 148th and South 160th streets may be closed for up to four nights, from 8 p.m. to 5 a.m. A short detour via First Avenue South will be provided. Specific lane and road closure information and hours will be posted weekly in the King County construction update report. The project also includes refreshing the high visibility lane striping and upgrading two crosswalks at the South 128th Street exit to current standards of the Americans with Disabilities Act. The crosswalk work began in late March. This $2 million pavement preservation work is being performed by Tucci & Sons. It is scheduled for completion later this summer. It’s the first of two paving projects on SR 509 in 2015. Another project is scheduled to begin later this summer between South Normandy Park Road and South 174th Street in the Normandy Park/Burien area. Here’s more from WSDOT:

Why is WSDOT paving southbound SR 509 from South 112th Street to SW 160th Street in Burien? The pavement on this section of southbound SR 509, popularly known as the “Burien Freeway,” is failing due to heavy use by commuters and heavy trucks. More than 27,000 vehicles use this four mile stretch of highway every day. The wear and tear on the highway is evident. Large cracks have formed in the pavement and many areas are also uneven as the result of potholes and previous maintenance repairs. Contractor crews will grind off the top two inches of pavement in this area and then replace it with new asphalt and add high visibility striping. The southbound ramps at 112th Street and 128th Street will also be paved as a part of this project. In addition, the project will upgrade two existing pedestrian ramps located on the southbound SR 509 off-ramp to Southwest 128th Street to current ADA standards. The upgraded pedestrian ramps will provide a safer transition to cross the off-ramp. What are the challenges we face repaving? Although repaving looks on the surface to be fairly straightforward, it’s more complex than it appears.
  • Grinding – The top two inches of the existing pavement must be removed through a process known as grinding. Grinding is unavoidably noisy and can cause vibration. People who live or work nearby may hear or feel it.
  • Road repairs – Removing existing pavement can sometimes reveal problems in the roadbed underneath such as deep cracks or potholing. Problem areas will need to be addressed by digging up the problem area and bringing in new soil and gravel to rebuild the roadbed.
  • Weather – Paving work must be done in when the weather is dry and the ground temperature is at least 45 degrees and rising. This limits the time of year when the work can be performed to the summer and early fall.
  • Coordination – Paving projects, both public and private all schedule paving for the same time of year. That means we must closely coordinate with other projects and asphalt plants to ensure asphalt is available when it’s needed for this project.
What should drivers expect? In order to reduce the impact on drivers, most of the work will occur during the overnight hours when traffic is lightest. One lane will be open to traffic while crews work from South 112th Street down to SR 518. However, when work takes place just south of SR 518 down to Southwest 160th Street, traffic must exit the highway and follow a short signed detour to get back onto SR 509. The End Result Repaving the southbound lanes will provide drivers with a safer and smoother drive. New asphalt will also extend the life of SR 509 and reduce maintenance needs. Project Benefits Highway Preservation – Repaving the highway preserves important infrastructure and extends the life of the roadway. Improves Safety
  • Repaving removes the cracks and wheel ruts where water can collect, creating a smoother and safer drive.
  • High visibility striping makes it easier for drivers to distinguish lanes in the rain and dark.
  • Reduces the need for emergency repairs and lane closures, which are costly to taxpayers and can cause unwanted congestion during peak travel periods.
What is the project timeline?
  • Oct. 2014 – The project was advertised for competitive bidding.
  • Nov. 2014 – The project was awarded to Tucci & Sons, Inc. of Tacoma.
  • March 2015 – Construction work began.
  • Fall 2015 – Construction work is scheduled to be operationally complete. Operationally complete means the majority of work is done and the roadway is open to traffic.
Financial Information
Financial Data for PIN 150922C
Funding Source Amount ($ in thousands)
2003 Gas Tax (Nickel Funding) $0
2005 Gas Tax (TPA) $0
Pre-Existing Funds (PEF) $2,730
Total $2,730

Project signage will reflect the cost of construction engineering, project bid award and sales tax.

How can I get more information?


Since 2007, The B-Town Blog is Burien’s multiple award-winning hyperlocal news/events website dedicated to independent journalism.

6 replies on “Expect traffic delays as paving work on SR 509 through Burien begins April 6”

  1. Wow those cracks and bumps sure look a lot smaller than the ones on 1st ave 136th to 128th. That stretch of road is past due for repair.

  2. It is amazing that we aren’t all driving on golden paved highways with all the tax money we pay when we fill up our cars.
    Wonder what rat hole all that money goes too, not to mention all the fees when we renew our tabs.

  3. I got tired of waiting for anyone to fix my streets potholes.
    Went to the hardware store, bought the asphalt & did it myself.
    It was much easier than just complaining about it.

    1. You are probably right…The repair crew tried to fix the large cracks on the man hole covers on I st ave 142nd to 144th..Now it is a SPEED BUMP. Great job road crew of burien city.

  4. Grinding at 1 in the morning on a weeknight…any night for that matter is not cool 🙁 My husband and I were woken up by the inconvenient noise and we’re definitely not thrilled by any means!

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