• The DJC is reporting new details on new joints that are being installed on the I-90 bridge. Apparently the old joints are broken and need replacing but unfortunately, the new joints being installed are not compatible with Light Rail and will need to be removed again before East Link can begin testing sometime between 2015 and 2020. The work will close the center roadway express lanes for three weeks starting Monday, and will cost WSDOT and the Feds $5.3 million.
  • Metro is offering incentives to vanpool riders during the express lane closure, and notes that commutes will be worse on I-90 and SR 520 mainly in the westbound direction in the morning, and eastbound direction in the evening. The delays could be 30-40 minutes, so plan accordingly.
  • In other I-90 news, the speed limits on I-90 are now variable, and traffic, weather and road work can move the normal 60 mph speed down to 30 mph.
  • The first stimulus-funded transportation project in the state is beginning this week in Ellensburg on I-90.

6 Replies to “News Round Up: I-90, I-90, I-90”

    1. One, because it’s not designed yet. Two, where would the additional funding come from? Three, it might never carry rail and if it does it would have had 12-18 years of wear and tear before Link opened. At that point the Homer Hadley will only have 12-38 years of life expectancy. “Used” expansion joints would likely end up needing replacement right about the time the entire bridge is near sinking. That would be sort of like the repairs to the Kingdome roof.

      The whole sad story of the expansion joints is on the WSDOT website. They weren’t designed correctly and have had problems from the get go. Supposedly with today’s computer modeling that wouldn’t have happened. I’m not sure I believe that. It’s relatively easy to model something after you know what the mode of failure is. It’s much harder to accurately predict failures.

  1. Not only are I-90 speed limits variable, they’ve varied — saw them drop down to 50 this afternoon. (I was bicycling the bridge, 50 vs 60 doesn’t matter to me.)

  2. Variable speed limits aren’t new even in Washington State. I-90 near Snoqualmie Pass already had variable speed limit signs.

    1. I’ll bet Interstate 90 is helping to spread the swine flu, regardless of the speed-limit (which was “Reasonable and Prudent” in Montana just a few years back!).

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