By Lee Hughes
Staff Reporter 

Closure planned for portion of Medical Lake interchange

10-day closure will impact SR 902 drivers and those heading westbound from the interchange

 

Last updated 9/14/2019 at 10:30am

Lee Hughest

Contractors work on the north roundabout of the Medical Lake Interchange on Friday, Sept. 13. The roundabout will be opened for traffic between State Route 902 and Geiger Boulevard during a possible 10-day complete closure of the north half of the interchange beginning Sept. 3, according to the Washington State Department of Transportation.

Drivers may be enduring a 10-day closure of the north half of the Medical Lake interchange beginning Monday, Sept. 30, according to Washington State Department of Transportation officials.

"We're 95 percent sure we're going to try and do this," WSDOT Project Engineer Mark Allen said.

The closure will involve the north half of the interchange only, during which both the Interstate 90 westbound off- and on-ramps, and the freeway overcrossing structure between the north and south sides will all be closed.

Drivers using State Route 902 from Medical Lake will need to detour to the Four Lakes Interchange during the closure, traveling instead down Lake Street that eventually becomes State Route 902.

Motorists who access the Medical Lake interchange from north Craig Road coming from Airway Heights will need to instead continue southbound along Craig to SR 904, then on to the Four Lakes Interchange.

But the longest detour will be for drivers wanting to head westbound onto Interstate 90 from the south side of the interchange. Rather than crossing north over the freeway on the existing bridge, westbound drivers will instead be required to head eastbound on I-90 and turn around through the Geiger Interchange to go westbound.


Hayford Road drivers have already been enduring another detour due to the closure of the road at Geiger Boulevard as the county reconstructs the intersection. That detour will remain, but not be affected by the WSDOT closure.

The state contractor, R.A. Degerstrom, will be working 24 hours a day for 10 straight days during the closure to "accelerate" the schedule and make up for delays encountered by utility-related conflicts on the construction site, according to Allen.

The new interchange will have three roundabouts when completed: two on the north side and one on the south side. Degerstrom will be focusing the middle roundabout that will handle freeway on- and off-traffic on the north side of the interchange during the closure.

The northern-most roundabout that has been taking shape will be opened during the closure, but only for traffic coming or going from SR 902 to Geiger Boulevard.

"We're trying to get back on schedule," Allen said of the reason for the closure, noting that the state's contractor, R.A. Degerstrom, will be working 24-hours-per-day during the closure. "They'll do the entire roundabout all at once."

The unplanned closure is a compromise as WSDOT engineers look ahead to other projects planned on the West Plains next year.

Of primary concern is the I-90 Geiger interchange planned for construction in 2020. WSDOT would prefer not to have both interchanges under construction simultaneously due to delays on the Medical Lake interchange, according to Allen.

More information, including detour maps, are currently under development and will be made available soon, he said.

Lee Hughes can be reached at lee@cheneyfreepress.com.

 

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