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WSDOT to modify construction schedule to mitigate traffic impacts on MI
Update on efforts to mitigate traffic backups on Mercer Island related to the 80th Avenue S.E. express lane ramp closure for I-90 Two-Way Transit/HOV Ops Stage 2:
The 80th Avenue ramp will reopen for normal transit/HOV operations Wednesday afternoon.
- At 3 p.m. Wednesday, WSDOT will reopen the reversible 80th Avenue S.E. ramp to the I-90 express lanes eastbound for transit and carpools. The ramp will remain open for three or four weeks, functioning as a reversible center-roadway access ramp, just as it did prior to closing Jan. 23.
- The ramp will close again to all traffic in three to four weeks, when crews realign the ramp with a new HOV lane in mainline eastbound I-90. After two or three days of final work, and the ramp will reopen for transit and HOV-only direct-access to a new HOV lane on the eastbound I-90 mainline. It will no longer be reversible.
- Eastbound I-90 traffic volume rapidly increased Monday afternoon and remained high through the evening commute. In addition to the influx of commuters avoiding SR-520, a collision blocked one lane on eastbound I-90 at E. Mercer Way shortly before 4 p.m. It quickly moved to the gore point and remained there with rescue vehicles for about an hour, blocking the right lane and part of the E. Mercer on-ramp. It caused serious backups to Seattle.
- About 3 p.m. Monday, WSDOT reopened the 80th Avenue S.E. ramp for buses only onto the I-90 Express Lanes (eastbound).
- WSDOT’s contractor removed barriers in the gore point at Island Crest Way to lengthen the merge and pushed back the barriers on the south side to widen the ramp.
- The contractor will remove barriers on eastbound I-90 as crews finish each section west to east, from 80thacross the East Channel Bridge.
- After adjusting ramp meters to improve flow on and off the Island, traffic engineers are taking a second look at the Island Crest Way on-ramp meter to ensure it reflects current traffic levels.
- WSDOT will continue to monitor traffic closely and work with the city, Sound Transit and Metro to respond to changing conditions quickly and efficiently.