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Revised schedule for I-90 floating bridge repairs

Repair work on the I-90 floating bridge, set to begin on July 5, is now scheduled to be completed more than a week earlier than initially planned.

WSDOT cut more than a week from the schedule to replace cracked expansion joints on the floating bridge, in collaboration with General Construction Co. Engineers are concerned that the 20-year-old joints pose a potential safety risk. Construction is now scheduled from July 5 through July 20, instead of July 28.

"Finding techniques to speed up this unique work means I-90 traffic will return to normal more quickly," said WSDOT assistant regional administrator Russ East. "Congestion still is expected to be severe, and drivers need to prepare a backup plan to avoid delays for the two weeks of construction. We don't want drivers sitting in construction traffic any longer than absolutely necessary."

The contractor agreed to a compressed schedule based on the results of similar construction on the I-90 express lanes in May. Early prep work and round-the-clock coordinated work on both ends of the floating bridge will also speed up the project.

If the work is completed according to the new schedule, the contractor will receive $510,000, which includes the cost of additional labor and equipment to finish the job early. If work takes longer than the new schedule, the contractor will reimburse WSDOT for each additional day of construction.

WSDOT will completely close the westbound mainline lanes across the I-90 floating bridge on July 6 to replace aging and cracked steel bridge joints.

All I-90 westbound traffic will be funneled into the two express lanes during construction. WSDOT traffic engineers predict delays of an hour or more between Issaquah and Seattle, unless enough drivers change how or when they commute. Leaving before 6 a.m., working from home, sharing the ride or bicycle commuting are ways to avoid the backups.

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