Q: How come the electronic sign along eastbound Interstate 90 sometimes says how long it will take to reach Bellevue and Issaquah, but other...

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Q:
How come the electronic sign along eastbound Interstate 90 sometimes says how long it will take to reach Bellevue and Issaquah, but other times just says to avoid bringing flammable cargo across the bridge?

A:
The I-90 freeway signs display the flammable-cargo warning whenever crews are performing maintenance, repairs or other tunnel work that requires them to disable the fire-suppression system, said Melanie Coon, a Department of Transportation spokeswoman. But it shouldn’t be long before the work is done and the state resumes posting estimated travel times.

In the coming months, nine freeway signs will dot the Eastside — on interstates 405 and 90 and Highway 520 — with travel times to help drivers decide which route to take to reach Bothell, Renton, Seattle, Issaquah and other spots in between.

Q:
If a school bus is stopped with red lights flashing on a four-lane road, do all lanes need to stop?

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A:
No, says Bellevue police Officer Michael Chiu. On a four-lane roadway, state law says only the drivers traveling in the same direction as the school bus must stop behind it when its lights flash, and not proceed until they stop flashing.

There are some variations on this theme.


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On a two-lane road, motorists in both directions must stop for a school bus with lights flashing, Chiu said. On a three-lane road (one lane in each direction with one turn lane, or two lanes one way and one the other) only folks traveling in the same direction need stop.

“It’s smart to slow down, but they don’t have to stop,” Chiu said of motorists on three-lane or wider roads. In all cases, it’s illegal to pass a school bus with lights flashing — to the tune of $363, Chiu said.

As a word to the wise, Chiu suggests that drivers stay alert when approaching a stopped school bus and try to slow down no matter what side of the road they’re driving or how wide the road is.

“It’s never smart to go shooting past that stopped car, because you never know what that car is stopped for. It could be a kid who’s stopped to pick up his lunch that he’s dropped in the middle of the road,” Chiu said.

Early warning

Snoqualmie:
The Meadowbrook Bridge on Meadowbrook Way near Snoqualmie will be closed for construction through October. Suggested detours are Highway 202 or Reinig Road/428th Avenue Southeast.

Bellevue:
Drivers should expect ramp closures from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. Monday through Thursday to and from eastbound I-90 at the 150th/156th Avenue Southeast interchange and the eastbound collector-distributor so crews can install drainage systems.

Issaquah:
Starting Monday through August, expect weekday lane closures on East Lake Sammamish Parkway near Southeast 56th Street from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., and occasionally at night, as crews install a new sewer interceptor pipeline. Work will proceed along the parkway to Southeast 43rd Way. Next, crews will begin work on Southeast 56th Street and Northwest Sammamish Road. The entire project should be complete by year’s end.

Bellevue:
Up to three lanes of westbound I-90 between the I-405 interchange and 150th Avenue Southeast will close from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. Monday through Thursday so crews can restripe the lanes.

Bellevue:
The southbound I-405 carpool lane will close from 8 p.m. Monday to 5 a.m. Wednesday between Northeast 12th and Northeast Sixth streets so crews can rebuild the I-405 median shoulder next to the lane.