Workers on Aurora Avenue North are on pace to finish their overpass-removal job and reopen the highway on schedule, at 5 a.m. Wednesday morning — bringing an end to a disruptive four-day closure.
The state Department of Transportation has posted a time-lapse video that shows machines crunching the Aurora overpass above defunct Broad Street. One highlight is how broken pavement is recycled. The scoopers drop concrete and asphalt directly into the pit, until the surface is level with Aurora, which is then re-topped. By removing the overpass, and slightly shifting Aurora’s elevation, the state is making room for future Highway 99 tunnel ramps and east-west surface streets crossing Aurora.
“Broad Street is repaved. Harrison Street is being repaved today. The asphalt has to cure, and restriping needs to be done,” said spokeswoman Laura Newborn.
Meanwhile, tunnel-boring machine Bertha remains stalled near Pioneer Square, as another team builds an access pit to retrofit the machine’s damaged front end.
The state and many commuters are bracing for severe traffic delays this afternoon. “If you can avoid afternoon driving, we ask you to do so,” Newborn said.
On Monday afternoon, a trip from Lynnwood to Seattle took 82 minutes. Farther north, a toppled cement truck caused jams Monday from Arlington to Everett. Tuesday morning congestion led to backups throughout the north end before 7 a.m. Bicycling on Dexter Avenue North was tougher than usual, with buses, detouring cars and dump trucks adding to the mix.