Construction of a new bridge on Coal Creek Parkway between Forest Drive Southeast and Southeast 60th Street began Wednesday. Closure of two lanes around the clock, previously scheduled to begin Friday, is now expected to start early next week. In the meantime, one northbound lane is being closed intermittently. video
When the two-lane closure starts, traffic delays and congestion are expected, especially during morning and evening commutes. Drivers are encouraged to find alternate routes.
The first phase of the bridge construction will wind up in November. One lane in each direction will be closed again during the second phase of the project, 24 hours a day, from mid-April through September 2014. Relocation of complex utilities, such as fiber optic cables, a natural gas main and high-pressure fuel pipe lines, requires the project to be done in two phases.
The existing 45-year-old Coal Creek culvert is deteriorating and needs to be replaced to keep the street safe for commuters that use this route each day. The project also includes construction of a pedestrian pathway that will run underneath the bridge and connect the Coal Creek trail, giving pedestrians and hikers a safe way to cross the parkway; and creek restoration to improve salmon migration.
For the duration of the project, the city will make every effort to minimize other potential delays for motorists using the parkway. However, drivers may not be able to avoid all potential impacts over the 18-month project timeline. It is likely utility work unrelated to the bridge construction will be necessary. This could include city maintenance work, emergency repairs and work by private utility companies (PSE, Comcast, CenturyLink, etc.).
Bike Lane Changes
During construction, bicyclists will need to share lanes with cars for about 900 feet through the work area. Signs will be posted to inform bikers and drivers, who are asked to be respectful and aware of each other. As with motorists, bicyclists are encouraged to consider alternate routes, which can be found on the King County Bike Map.
In between Phase 1 and Phase 2, when the road is open to four lanes of traffic, interim bike lanes or widened lanes will be available for bikes through the 900-foot construction area. By the end of September 2014, all four lanes of traffic will be reopened, with bike lanes restored on both sides of the road.
Trailhead and Parking Lot Changes
The Coal Creek trailhead and parking lot will close on Wednesday, when bridge construction begins and remain closed until the project is completed. A new trail accessing the park has been established nearby at 5199 Forest Dr. A more developed interim parking lot is planned to be completed at this location in the summer of 2013.
The project is scheduled be completed by the end of November 2014. Coal Creek Culvert Replacement offers more information and a way to subscribe for email or text Alerts regarding developments on the project. Questions about the construction site (traffic barriers, flaggers, construction equipment, etc.) should be directed to the Utilities Department 425-452-6977 or Shawn Riley firstname.lastname@example.org. Questions about neighborhood traffic issues should be directed to the Transportation Department 425-452-6856. Questions about bridge design or other issues should be directed to the Utilities Department 425-452-6977 or Bruce Jensen email@example.com.
Follow @Bellevuewa or @BvueTrans on Twitter for updates. To obtain up-to-date weekly construction information, please refer to Traffic Advisories.
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