Thursday, July 24, 2014

I-90 bridge to close for Seafair jets

by Bart Treece

After a one-year break, some old friends have booked a return flight. The skies above Seattle will again be the playground for the F/A 18 Blue Angels of Seafair. This of course means the Interstate 90 floating bridge between the Emerald City and Mercer Island will be closed periodically for safety precautions. In other words: no drivers, cyclists or walkers.

Courtesy: US Navy
Courtesy: Patriots Jet Team

The Federal Aviation Administration requires a safety zone below the area where both the Blue Angels and the Patriots Jet Team practice and show-off for captivated crowds. This zone, we call “the box,” covers part of Lake Washington and the floating bridges - hence the closure.

Airshow Safety Zones
With the Blue Angels back in the Seafair lineup, both directions of I-90, (including the mainline and the express lanes) will be closed between I-5 in Seattle and Island Crest Way on Mercer Island.

Here’s the closure schedule:

  • Thursday, July 31: 9:45 a.m. - noon; 1:15 - 2:40 p.m. (practice) 
    • Express lanes closed from 9:45 a.m. to 2:40 p.m. 
  • Friday, Aug. 1: 12:15 p.m. - 2:40 p.m., (practice) 
    • Express lanes closed from 12:15 to 2:40 p.m. 
  • Saturday, Aug. 2: 12:15 p.m. - 2:40 p.m., (full show) 
    • Express lanes closed from 12:15 to 2:40 p.m. 
  • Sunday, Aug. 3: 12:15 p.m. - 2:40 p.m., (full show) 
    • Express lanes closed from 12:15 to 2:40 p.m.

Additionally, several ramps to I-90 will be closed during these times.

SR 520 floating bridge
The State Route 520 floating bridge will remain open for traffic and tolls will be collected according to the rate schedule. There will be no boat openings while the I-90 bridge is closed. You can expect heavier traffic on SR 520 and other routes between Seattle and the Eastside. To help keep traffic moving throughout Seafair weekend, the east navigation channel will be open to boats up to 58 feet tall which should reduce the number of marine openings.

Regardless of where you travels take you Seafair weekend, be sure to plan your trips beforehand and know before you go.


Nicola Ruggiero said...

Are bike and pedestrian access still available at the stated closure times?

Nicola Ruggiero said...

Will I-90 still be available for pedestrian and bike traffic during those stated closure times?

Bart Treece said...

@Nicola Ruggiero: No. Bikes, and pedestrians will not be allowed on the floating bridge between Seattle and Mercer Island during those closure times. The path between Island Crest and Bellevue will be open for cyclists as it's not affected by the safety zone.

Anonymous said...

The signs on I405 state the I90 bridge will be closed from 9:45am to 2:40pm on Thursday but this website says there will be about an hour gap from noon to 1:15pm. Is this correct or will it be closed the entire time?

Bart Treece said...

There is a gap, but it's tough to message all of that on those overhead signs.

Anonymous said...

Why don't the cameras that we access over the internt for the I-90 floating bridge show full real-time video streaming like the TV stations carry?

Bart Treece said...

We have limited capabilities to transmit video over the internet. We are changing how we process the video feeds, so it could change in the future.

Anonymous said...

I have dog, will I be able to bring him on the bridge during the air show? Will there be any dog-friendly disposal receptacles for my dog's doo-doo?

Bart Treece said...

@Rick: Sorry for the delayed response, we do not normally moderate comments over the weekend.

The FAA makes the rules about the safety zone on the bridge deck. If you have questions or comments about those rules, please contact them.

Please do stand on the closed portion of the high rise, but we try to discourage this as it delays reopening the road to traffic.

There are plenty of other spots to see the airshow that are not on the highway.

Bart Treece said...

Dog question: Again, sorry for the delayed response. There are no dog waste receptacles on WSDOT property, but there are some adjacent parks with waste cans. That said, please be thoughtful and courteous when disposing of your pooch's poo.