Friday, August 10, 2007

WSDOT’s I-5 Downtown Seattle Work Starts Tonight

After a safety briefing, contractor crews are now resting up to be ready for overnight work that will kick-off up to 19 consecutive days of lane closures on northbound I-5 from Spokane Street to I-90. We will be logging our construction progress on our new traffic and construction information page, where drivers can also get up-to-date traffic information about I-5 and alternate routes to help plan their trip.

Tell us about your commute during these challenging days of intense lane and ramp closures. Many of you have already shared your projected plans on our earlier I-5 blog post. Now we want to hear stories from the road and any tips you can pass along to others trying to navigate around the construction. Oh and remember, if you have questions about the project our project hotline has answers at 206.440.4704.

12 comments:

WD said...

As usual, I rode the 218 bus at 8:20 from Issaquah Highlands, and I was afraid it would be packed even more than usual, but that did not happen.

I90 was very smooth, better than most other Mondays, esp. out of Issaquah, before the carpool lane starts.

There was one - surprising - delay, though:
The carpool ramp off I90 into 5th Ave (near Quest Field) was backed up big time! It took us almost 10 minutes to get off the freeway ramp. I'm not sure why - maybe there was a problem for drivers turning left into Airport Way (towards 4th Ave S), but to me it appeared there were more drivers car-pooling than usual, and the green phase for the off-ramp was too short. Somebody from WSDOT please have a look!

Anonymous said...

Can you provide more detail about the turbine blow dryer? That thing looks very interesting.

Adamm said...

The WSDOT Web team is doing an excellent job. I feel very well-informed! Thank you.

My commute has been pretty nice, but luckily I'm not on the freeway. I'm riding my bike every workday from the 10th until the 29th. However, traffic volume seems unusually low!

Anonymous said...

I agree the off wramp was very delayed. We sat for 15 minutes.

Anonymous said...

Although WSDOT is claiming that "this is the biggest I-5 closure ever", that is not entirely correct. Those of you that lived here in the 80's remember that during the summer of 1984 (northbound) and 1985 (southbound), Both the Lakeview and Ship Canal Structures were closed to two lanes in each direction for over 2 months! (July-August), for expansion joint and deck repair, and a latex modified concrete overlay on both bridges. The crews did work 24 hours a day 7 days a week with a 10,000 per day incentive clause. Granted traffic volumes are much higher now than then, but 19 days is nothing compared to 2 months! "WSDOT - we stretch the truth 24-7"

Lauren Penning said...

wd said...
There was one - surprising - delay, though:
The carpool ramp off I90 into 5th Ave (near Quest Field) was backed up big time!

We passed along this feedback to the city of Seattle. They have been monitoring this signal and are making adjustments.

-Lauren

Lauren Penning said...

Anonymous said...
Can you provide more detail about the turbine blow dryer? That thing looks very interesting.

August 14, 2007 1:30:00 PM PDT

This giant blow dryer is like a giant jet engine with a fan on back. It is roughly 20 feet by 10 feet and it sits on the back of a flatbed truck. The original machine was from Lakeside Industries which has the only machine of this type in the state. The machine we have now on site is from Ohio.

-Lauren

Lauren Penning said...

Anonymous said...
"Although WSDOT is claiming that "this is the biggest I-5 closure ever", that is not entirely correct..."

There are many factors that together make this the biggest construction closure ever. For example traffic volumes are much higher than in the 80s - over 130,000 vehicles use this stretch of northbound I-5 on an average day. The intensity of these closures have already affected many drivers in our region. We have seen on average about a 30 percent reduction in traffic on northbound I-5 through the work zone. The success of these closures so far has depended on a large effort from drivers, employers, transit agencies and others around the region.
-Lauren

Anonymous said...

I just want to know why the S Spokane Street onramp is open for now (Stage 3)!

Don't you understand this is causing most of the slow movement/backups along the construction zone???

People merging is always a problem. Going from 5 lanes to 2 lanes is already a big enough change in terms of traffic. Having to deal with another lane of traffic coming from S Spokane street is crazy.

These people have already been using different routes for the other stages so why let them on I-5 now. There is only a few days left I would have thought WSDOT had bette traffic engineers!!

Anonymous said...

I drive a Metro Van Pool and during the construction I took a route around Lake Washington from Seward Park, past the hydro Pits, and through Leshi; I turned left on Alder and continued to Yesler to Capitol HIll. Although this route took a little longer, there was no traffic to speak of and the view was pretty good compared to the freeway. Over all this route took only 10 minutes longer than the usual I-5 commute before the construction project.

Bob

Anonymous said...

I drive a Metro Van Pool and during the construction I took a route around Lake Washington from Seward Park, past the hydro Pits, and through Leshi; I turned left on Alder and continued to Yesler to Capitol HIll. Although this route took a little longer, there was no traffic to speak of and the view was pretty good compared to the freeway. Over all this route took only 10 minutes longer than the usual I-5 commute before the construction project.

Bob

Anonymous said...

On Monday Aug. 20th I parked at the Kent Transit Station parking garage (free) to take an express bus into Seattle. I'm a nervous driver so I didn't want to hassle new routes. The 150 back in the early afternoon was slow, but I was happy because I stayed within the desired time frame and now I know how to bus to Seattle and back!

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