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  I-5, Mellen Street to Blakeslee Junction Project

Construction update: Sept. 27, 2013


Plan for nighttime lane and ramp closures on I-5 next week

Contractor Scarsella Brothers Inc. will close ramps at Mellen Street and Harrison Avenue and a single lane on I-5 nightly next week. The closures take place Monday, Sept. 30, through Thursday, Oct. 3, 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. each night.


Closure details


Sept. 30 and Oct. 1 

Right lane of northbound I-5

Off-ramp from northbound I-5 to Mellen Street


Oct. 1 and 2

Right lane of southbound I-5

On-ramp from Harrison Avenue to southbound I-5


Oct. 2 and 3

Right lane of southbound I-5

On-ramp from Mellen Street to southbound I-5


Crews working overnight Oct. 2 will complete work at Harrison before beginning work at Mellen so ramps at these consecutive interchanges will not be closed simultaneously.

What are crews doing during these closures?

Workers will use the lane and ramp closures to place temporary concrete barrier along I-5 and form a protected work zone in the area of the new Mellen Street couplet bridge. Crews are currently building support structures for the new bridge, which is scheduled to be complete in late 2014.

Next steps at Mellen Street

Temporary barrier placement is an early step in the process of building the new Mellen Street couplet bridge. We’re starting to bring in “fill” – dirt and rocks – to build up the earth around Mellen Street and create the couplet’s footprint. At the same time, crews are drilling shafts – deep, cylindrical holes in the ground – into which we’ll place rebar cages and concrete that become the bridge piers.


Once the piers are finished, we’ll set girders across I-5, and the bridge will start looking like, well, a bridge! Then comes the bridge deck, ramps, asphalt, signals and striping…and then we should have this portion of the couplet ready for traffic.


But I’m looking way down the road to late 2014, and simplifying the process a lot. Highway construction (or any kind of construction, for that matter) is like a puzzle with a million large and small pieces that have to fit together for a successful end result. Piers, girders, deck work and the like are some of the big things you’ll notice as construction continues. We’re making good progress so far, and in the short-term, expect more lane and ramp closures this fall and winter as crews work diligently to put this complicated puzzle together.


Please feel free to contact me with any questions or feedback. I’m in the office Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.


Abbi Russell

WSDOT Communications





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