Can a bridge look like Swiss cheese? I-405's Benson Rd bridge soon will

by guest blogger Steve Peer EAVB_EYUFDCOVPP

Update, Monday, June 28:
The shift happened in Renton over the weekend.

Crews put the finishing touches on the new Benson Road S Bridge last weekend and early Sunday morning vehicles were using the new bridge to get across I-405.  Now that traffic has shifted to the new bridge crews will begin to take apart the old one to properly recycle it. For details, read below and stay tuned for bridge removal photos.  

Original post:
Right now the old Benson Road S. Bridge stands next to its replacement spanning across I-405 in Renton. It’s a fully operational bridge that carries more than 15,000 vehicles a day. This weekend, we’ll close the old bridge. 

The work is the beginning of the end for the old bridge.

Benson Bridge
If the weather holds, we’ll shift traffic onto the newly built bridge early Sunday morning and crews will begin taking apart the old I-405 crossing.  Like most structures, the old bridge was framed using wood before it was incased in cement. Before crews can tear down the old to welcome the new, they have to drill through the concrete, forming holes large enough for a person to slide into to remove the old wood. Picture that—large holes all over the bridge—yes, Swiss cheese. Why the “Swiss cheese”?  The wood needs to come out of the concrete so we can properly recycle both materials. Imagine the size of the recycling bins.

This work kicks-off the countdown to tearing down the old Benson Road Bridge. For the weekend of July 10th, all I-405 lanes through Renton will close for 33 hours. Be prepared to avoid the curve with detours.

Details of this weekend’s road closure: Crews will close a stretch of Benson Road South from Renton City Hall to Eagle Ridge Drive June 26 at 6 am.  Drivers will use Puget Drive/Talbot Road/Grady Way S. to detour around the construction zone. We’ll re-open the road at 5 a.m. Sunday morning.

For more details check out our What’s Happening In Renton page.