Guest Column — Transportation: We must act now

March 25, 2015

This region is truly world class — from our breathtaking environment to our vibrant communities. But the “world class” label bestowed upon us in a newspaper column last fall — “Hey, we’re world class! For truly terrible traffic” — must serve as a wake-up call for action.

Issaquah Mayor Fred Butler

Issaquah Mayor Fred Butler

That headline came after the Washington State Department of Transportation released its 2014 “Congestion Report,” showing us that the gridlock and brake-tapping we’ve been stewing in for years is now significantly worse.

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Truck punches hole in I-90/Front Street overpass girder

March 17, 2015

A Recology CleanScapes truck hit the side of the eastbound Interstate 90 overpass over Front Street North on March 13.

The company hauls trash in parts of Issaquah.

The lift that slides a trash bin off the truck was in the up position, and it tore a large hole in the bridge girders. Crumbled concrete was strewn about and a large hole was gouged in the pavement from the overhead force that stopped the truck.

That force was so great that it bent the cab of the truck all the way forward and it slammed into the pavement.

By Kathleen R. Merrill A hydraulic crane pulls the lift of a Recology CleanScapes truck out of the overpass. The truck’s hydraulic lift was buried in the hole. The driver escaped unharmed, even though the cab of his truck bent down and slammed into the pavement from the force of the crash.

By Kathleen R. Merrill
A hydraulic crane pulls the lift of a Recology CleanScapes truck out of the overpass. The truck’s hydraulic lift was buried in the hole. The driver escaped unharmed, even though the cab of his truck bent down and slammed into the pavement from the force of the crash.

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Truck hits Front Street overpass of Interstate 90

March 13, 2015

UPDATED — 6:02 p.m. March 13, 2015

As of 5:37 p.m., WSDOT says all lanes of eastbound Interstate 90 in Issaquah are scheduled to reopen to traffic by 10 p.m.

As of 4:30 p.m. WSDOT reports that the Front Street and off-ramp lane closures are done for the day. The right lane of eastbound Interstate-90 is still closed, though.

A Recology CleanScapes truck hit the side of the eastbound Interstate 90 overpass over Front Street at 10 this morning.

The driver of the truck, who was not being identified yet, was taken to a hospital and “thankfully is in stable condition,” said Kevin Kelly, a Recology CleanScapes spokesman.

The company hauls the city’s waste.

By Kathleen R. Merrill A Recology CleanScapes truck was totaled after it hit the overpass of Interstate 90 at Front Street.

By Kathleen R. Merrill
A Recology CleanScapes truck was totaled after it hit the overpass of Interstate 90 at Front Street.

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Truck damages Interstate 90 overpass; expect traffic delays

March 13, 2015

NEW — 11:25 a.m. March 13, 2015

WSDOT photo A Recology CleanScapes truck punctured the Interstate 90 overpass above Front Street North on Friday.

WSDOT photo
A Recology CleanScapes truck punctured the Interstate 90 overpass above Front Street North on Friday, causing delays.

Drivers should prepare for delays at Interstate 90 and Front Street North after a truck hit the interstate overpass earlier today, according to a city news release. Read more

Eight-week closure of eastbound I-90 HOV ramp starts Feb. 25

February 24, 2015

NEW — 6 a.m. Feb. 24, 2015

Carpools, vanpools and transit will need to use the mainline exit from eastbound Interstate 90 to Interstate 405 during an eight-week closure of the eastbound I-90 HOV ramp to I-405.

The closure begins at 10 p.m. Feb. 25.

The closure will provide contractor crews from MidMountain Contractors Inc. with the space it needs to realign the HOV ramp. A portion of the work is weather-dependent, and heavy rain or cold temperatures could delay the reopening of the ramp.

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Volunteers needed for fall cyclist, walker count

September 23, 2014

During a three-day survey last year, volunteers counted nearly 66,000 bicyclists and pedestrians across Washington.

About 400 volunteers are needed again this fall to tally the number of people who bike or walk to their destinations.

For the seventh annual survey, Washington State Department of Transportation and the Cascade Bicycle Club are enlisting volunteers and organizations to help count people they see bicycling and walking along paths, bike lanes, sidewalks and other facilities from Sept. 30 to Oct. 2. Counts will be taken at assigned locations in nearly 40 cities throughout the state.

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New cycle track connects trail system

September 16, 2014

A new cycle track now completes the regional trail link between Issaquah and Preston.

King County recently installed a 0.7-mile cycle track along High Point Way, just east of the High Point to Preston regional trail that runs parallel to Interstate 90.

“Filling this gap between Issaquah and Preston allows a cyclist to travel from the Burke-Gilman Trail in Seattle to an overlook at Snoqualmie Falls, a scenic 50-mile journey,” Cynthia Welti, executive director of the Mountains to Sound Greenway Trust, said in a news release.

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Volunteers needed for fall cyclist, walker count

September 13, 2014

NEW — 6 a.m. Sept. 13, 2014

During a three-day survey last year, volunteers counted nearly 66,000 bicyclists and pedestrians across Washington.

About 400 volunteers are needed again this fall to tally the number of people who bike or walk to their destinations.

For the seventh annual survey, Washington State Department of Transportation and the Cascade Bicycle Club are enlisting volunteers and organizations to help count people they see bicycling and walking along paths, bike lanes, sidewalks and other facilities from Sept. 30 to Oct. 2. Counts will be taken at assigned locations in nearly 40 cities throughout the state.

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15-day closure of eastbound Interstate 90 ramp to Bellevue Way starts tonight

September 8, 2014

NEW — 6 p.m. Sept. 8, 2014

Beginning at 9 tonight, crews will close the ramp from eastbound Interstate 90 to Bellevue Way around the clock for 15 days to lower the elevation of the ramp.

During the closure, all traffic heading eastbound on I-90 to Bellevue Way will use the HOV ramp.

Drivers should expect minor delays during the closure, particularly the first few days as drivers adjust to moving left and using the Bellevue Way HOV ramp. A detour will also be available via Richards Road and westbound I-90. The ramp is expected to reopen the morning of Sept. 23.

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Commuters, prepare for huge Interstate 90 delays

July 15, 2014

One westbound lane will close for seven days

Drivers of westbound Interstate 90 should ready themselves for significant delays due to a $1.6 million construction project that begins July 18.

Westbound I-90 will be reduced to one lane near Bellevue Way for seven days as the Washington State Department of Transportation replaces the expansion joints on the East Channel bridge, which connects Mercer Island to Bellevue over a small channel of Lake Washington.

Prepare for traffic backups June 18-25 as workers repair two 92-foot-long expansion joints that  are deteriorating on Interstate 90 near Mercer Island.

Prepare for traffic backups June 18-25 as workers repair two 92-foot-long expansion joints that are deteriorating on Interstate 90 near Mercer Island.

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