Work starts on East Sunset Way interchange next month

May 17, 2010

By Warren Kagarise

NEW — 6 a.m. May 17, 2010

State Department of Transportation officials last month awarded a $1.3 million contract to a Bellevue contractor to widen and upgrade the cramped East Sunset Way approach to Interstate 90.

Construction on the project should start next month and wrap by the fall. Crews will widen the narrow roadway from a single lane in each direction and remove concrete barriers alongside the lanes.

The temporary support wall near the roadway will be replaced. Workers will also reconfigure storm water retention ponds down the hill from the roadway.

DOT officials picked Tri-State Construction to complete the long-planned project. The department budgeted $3.5 million for the project, but bids arrived far below estimates.

Most of the work will take place off of the roadway, but the project could require up to 60 nighttime lane closures.

Crews completed most of the interchange in 2003, but left the East Sunset Way stretch undone in order to connect to the planned Southeast Bypass. City Council members canceled the proposed 1.1-mile roadway across Tiger Mountain in 2008, after 12 years of planning and $4 million.

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