Friday, September 23, 2011

Busy construction weekend on I-5 in Lynnwood could delay drivers

By guest blogger Meghan Pembroke

The first official weekend of fall will be a busy one for crews rebuilding the Swamp Creek interchange in Lynnwood. Monday, Sept. 26 will mark a major milestone in improving the challenging I-405/SR 525/196th St. merge – but before we can celebrate, we’ll need to close down the interchange for the weekend so we can complete the new on-ramps and connect them to the southbound lanes of I-5.

So what does all this mean for you? During the weekend, you’ll need to watch for detour signs, scope out alternate routes to avoid getting stuck in traffic and plan some extra time into your schedule. Our busy weekend kicks off in earnest Friday, Sept. 23, when the ramps from I-405 and SR 525 to southbound I-5 close around the clock until 5 a.m. Monday, Sept. 26. You’ll also want to prepare for nightly closures of the southbound I-5 off-ramp to 196th St. on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

We’ll have detour signs posted to help you get around the closed ramps. Northbound I-405 drivers will be detoured to southbound I-5 via the 164th Street SE interchange, but there are other options if you want to avoid delays: SR 522, SR 527, SR 524 and SR 104 are other great ways to reach southbound I-5.

If you’re on southbound SR 525, you can take southbound SR 99 to 196th Street SW or 220th Street SW to reach southbound I-5. You can also reach southbound I-5 via Alderwood Mall Parkway and westbound 196th Street SW.

When we open the new ramps at 5 a.m. Monday, Sept. 26, it’ll be a big improvement for drivers – but we still need you to stay plugged in to construction. Even though the I-405 and SR 525 ramps will be open, the new off-ramp to 196th St. won’t be. That ramp will open Friday morning, Sept. 30 – and in the interim, drivers will need to pay close attention to the temporary off-ramp.

As crews finish up the new 196th St. off ramp, you can expect to see a temporary traffic island that will separate mainline I-5 traffic from on-ramp traffic and traffic exiting to 196th Street SW.  If you use the 196th St exit, you’ll need to move into the right lane prior to the I-405 interchange to avoid missing the exit.

By the end of September, you’ll be using all three of the new on- and off-ramps and should notice less lane weaving and less congestion. Watch the video below to see how the new ramps will work: