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Construction at all hours
Reporter staff

Officials with the state department of transportation advised North end residents of continuing, noisy night work taking place on Interstate 90 near 80th Avenue S.E. for a new direct access on ramp to the park and ride.

According to Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) officials, construction crews were removing vegetation, excavating soil and setting up temporary concrete barriers last week.

Construction crews also removed parts of the concrete shoulder and unloaded steel needed for the project the previous week, according to Doug Haight, WSDOT’s construction project engineer.

WSDOT officials also warn that night work will continue along the I-90 corridor on Mercer Island for the next three to four weeks. Construction crews plan to start moving westward from East Mercer Way, going from East to North Mercer Way past Shorewood Drive and Island Crest Way. Work will also take place between 80th Avenue S.E. and 76th Avenue up to West Mercer Way.

“We are performing as much work as possible during daytime hours,” read a press release issued by the WSDOT. “Some construction activities require lane closures to allow for safe work operations. To keep workers and drivers safe and to minimize effects on traffic, we need to do some of the work at night.

Data shows that closing lanes during the day could increase traffic accidents and compromise the safety of workers and drivers within the construction zone. Also, because I-90 carries so much traffic, daytime lane and ramp closures would cause congestion on both the freeway and city streets, affecting local businesses, deliveries and school routes.”

While the most intensive night work may be taking place over the next month, WSDOT officials also wanted to remind Islanders that night time construction activity on I-90 is expected to last through the remainder of the year. After the westbound direct access ramps at 80th and 76th Avenue are completed, crews will eventually re-stripe the westbound portion of the East Channel bridge, from Bellevue Way to 80th Avenue S.E.

To report noise complaints call WSDOT’s inspector on duty at (425) 531-0349.

Metro Transit has decided to reduce the number of shuttle buses from the South end in some route changes that will be implemented beginning June 2.

According Metro officials, a shuttle that picks up riders from the Island’s interim park and ride lots for Route 202 will be reduced to three morning and three evening trips.

The shuttles run in between regular scheduled coaches during peak hours. Riders can now expect a Metro bus about every 15 minutes instead of the 10 minute frequency which began about a year ago.

The South end shuttles were started to off-set the impacts of the construction the North Mercer Park and Ride new two-story garage. While the parking garage is not complete, the street-side bus stops and shelters are open.

Since the closure of the park and ride, Metro has shuttle service from First Church of Christ Scientist at 8685 S.E. 47th St., Mercer Island Presbyterian Church at 3605 84th Ave. S.E. and the South end shopping center. The shuttles used to go between the North Mercer lot and three nearby parking locations.

Parking locations with direct service to downtown Seattle from the 202 are at the old Safeway or Initial Tropical Plants on 76th St. S.E. and Mercer Island United Methodist Church on S.E. 24th St.

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