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Showing posts from October, 2019

Travel reduced to one lane on SR 20 near Loup Loup Summit

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Load restrictions and signal-controlled traffic are currently in placeBy Lauren Loebsack

UPDATE - Friday, May 31
At 9 p.m. on Tuesday, June 4, SR 20 will reopen to one lane of signal-controlled traffic near Loup Loup Summit at the site of a washout in early May. The highway had been fully closed for about a week as repairs continued on the hillside. Repair work is ongoing for what is estimated to be a few more weeks so drivers should expect some delays through the work zone and be alert and safe around road workers.

UPDATE - May Thursday, May 23
The emergency repair happening on SR 20 east of Loup Loup Pass following a washout earlier this month will require a full closure of the highway. From 6 a.m. Tuesday, May 28 until 9 p.m. Tuesday, June 4, the highway will be fully closed at milepost 222.4. The contractor has reached a point in their work that will require them to excavate very soft fill material under the roadway, which could compromise the stability of the lane that is still o…

Bicycling can be for everybody and every body

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By Justin Resnick and Barb Chamberlain

Every year around Bike to Work Day, you read stories about dedicated cyclists who ride every day, suit up for even the nastiest weather, and say "it's easy; you could do it too!" "Sure," you think. "I'll get right on that."

And some of us do, which is awesome. Some people dust off an old bike or go to their local bike shop to pick up a fun and reliable new ride. And they fall in love with riding, sign up for an event, buy all the gear, ride the STP, and yadda yadda – you've heard this before...

Well this is not that story. This is not about another MAMIL (Middle Aged Man in Lycra ::cough cough::) conquering his challenge. Because I could point you to any number of traditional conqueror stories about bikes, but that's not what inspires a welcoming community for everyone. Riding a bike doesn't have to be a challenge or a goal – it can just be normal.

This post is about amazing people and organiza…

A different approach for an I-90 facelift near Ritzville

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By Ryan Overton

While many construction projects around the state are just getting underway, crews are close to wrapping up work on I-90 between SR 21 and Ritzville. And on this project, we tried something a little different.

Stone Matrix Asphalt. No, it doesn't involve Keanu Reeves – though that would be amazing – but it's still pretty cool. But more on that in just a bit.

The last time this stretch of I-90 – covering about 10½ miles – had a full pavement grind and inlay of asphalt was 2002. There was some minor reconstruction work in 2008 but overall the highway has remained relatively unchanged for more than 15 years. You may have noticed more wear on the road in the past couple years, with some significant rutting and cracks causing the roadway to look aged.
Typically the pavement cycle for resurfacing is about every 10 to 15 years, so 17 years is longer than normal. To extend the life of this next pavement cycle, we're using Stone Matrix Asphalt, or SMA, for the dri…

Like a car needs an oil change and tune-up, Seattle’s SR 99 tunnel also needs regular checkups

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Full overnight closure of the tunnel happening Friday night to Saturday morningBy Thomas Charlson

Many of us have experienced car maintenance issues. When my car broke down last year, I learned the hard way about the importance of getting regular tune-ups to save money on repairs in the long run. In this case, I had the spark plugs replaced earlier in the year but continued to have engine problems. After a series of other car repairs, I found out that they were the wrong brand of spark plugs for my car model.

Similar to maintaining a vehicle, we need to give Seattle’s new SR 99 tunnel a regular checkup. That means monthly closures to ensure the tunnel systems are running smoothly and to keep up with the warranties. This helps us avoid problems like I experienced with my car.

Full tunnel closure June 7-8
While these maintenance closures of the SR 99 tunnel will typically be in one direction, the closure coming up this weekend – from 10 p.m. Friday, June 7 until 8 a.m. Saturday, June 8…

Zipper merge - applying the "taking turns" approach to keep traffic moving

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New signage at US 101 and SR 8 relies on lessons from grade school to zip commuters throughBy Doug Adamson

Sharing, taking turns, treating others as you would want to be treated - turns out the lessons we learned as kids will help South Sounders navigate a new "zipper merge" at the US 101 and State Route 8 interchange. It's a practical solution to an old problem that will rely on travelers taking that "Northwest nice" adage to heart.

As always, being polite and cooperative has advantages. In this case, it will help reduce congestion, delays, and the kind of annoying backups that can turn a sweet demeanor sour.
The situation
During the morning commute, southbound US 101 near Steamboat Island outside Olympia has regular congestion. Two lanes reduce to one where the highway passes under SR 8. Most commuters merge into the left lane after signs advise that the right lane ends in less than a mile.

All of those vehicles crammed into one lane creates a long line of…