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Friday, July 09, 2004 - Page updated at 01:05 P.M.

On the Road
East Channel Bridge light flickers toward replacement

By Natalie Singer
Seattle Times Eastside bureau

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Q.Why is there a light standard near the center of the Interstate 90 East Channel Bridge that seems to automatically turn on for about one minute and off for two minutes? Also, why can't all of the center lights on this bridge be permanently turned off in the interest of energy conservation and reduction of light pollution?

A. The light above the I-90 East Channel Bridge is an older type of lamp that turns on and off when it's near the end of its life span, said state Department of Transportation spokesman Greg Phipps. He said a crew will change the light as soon as they can schedule nighttime lane closures, which are needed in order to safely install the lamp. The new light will last longer and simply will burn out when it gets old instead of flickering on and off, Phipps said.

In addition, Phipps said the East Channel Bridge (the short span between Mercer Island and Bellevue) is in an area with closely spaced onramps and exits. Lighting is particularly important in this type of location, and the state has no plans to turn off the lights because they are crucial to driver safety, he said.

Early warning

Clyde Hill: The Evergreen Point Floating Bridge (Highway 520) between 92nd Avenue Northeast and Montlake Boulevard Northeast will be closed tonight from 11:59 to 5 a.m. Monday. Crews will be performing annual maintenance work.

Redmond: A section of Novelty Hill Road between 243rd Avenue Northeast and West Snoqualmie Valley Road will be closed for four weeks beginning Monday. The closure will allow for the construction of safety improvements.

Bellevue: The southbound Interstate 405 offramp to Northeast Fourth Street will be closed to traffic tonight at 10 and reopen to traffic Monday at 6 a.m. The northbound offramp will be closed to traffic nightly, Monday through Thursday from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. the following morning.

Got an Eastside traffic question?

Send it to The Seattle Times Eastside News Bureau, 1200 112th Ave. N.E., Suite C-145, Bellevue, WA 98004. Fax: 425-453-0449. E-mail:

Natalie Singer: 206-464-2704 or

Copyright © 2004 The Seattle Times Company

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