Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Repairing highways, we couldn’t do it without you

By Andrea E. Flatley

Maintaining our state highways is a team effort. In the Northwest Region alone we have more than 4,000 miles of highway and fewer than 550 WSDOT maintenance employees. We rely on you for comments and concerns about roadway safety. Whether you send us a tweet, a Facebook comment, email or make a phone call, we investigate these concerns and they often lead to us making a change or repair.

That's what happened early Tuesday morning, March 22. A traveler reported a pothole on northbound Interstate 5 over South 288th Street in Federal Way. When our maintenance crews checked out the area, they realized the issue was with an area around an expansion joint. Three other expansion joints on the same bridge also needed some attention. To repair as much as possible all at once, crews closed the right three lanes and got to work chipping and repairing. It just took longer than expected.

I work in our Traffic Management Center most mornings and see that the stretch of I-5 between Enchanted Parkway and Southcenter is almost always one of the first stretches of highway in our region to fill in during weekday morning commutes. We balance keeping your highways safe while limiting added delays to your commute. This work, while important for driver safety, didn't make the commute very easy, and we thank you for adjusting your routes and being patient.

We still have some work to do on these bridge decks, so bridge crews will be out overnight this week finishing the work. Based on feedback we've gotten from you, northbound I-5 commuters, we'll be wrapping up work no later than 4:30 a.m.
  • Tuesday, March 22, to the morning of Wednesday, March 23 – Up to three right lanes of northbound I-5 after South 320th Street will be closed from 11 p.m. to 4:30 a.m. for expansion joint repair.
  • Wednesday, March 23, to the morning Friday, March 25 – Up to two left lanes of northbound I-5 after South 320th Street will be closed from 11 p.m. to 4:30 a.m. nightly for expansion joint repair.

Next week we're also planning an expansion joint repair on northbound I-5 over South 272nd Street. So please, plan ahead and know before you go. Check our Northwest Construction page and follow WSDOT Traffic Twitter for live updates during the morning and evening commutes.

Your help keeping our highways safe is appreciated. If you have something to share, click here to find phone numbers and email addresses for our different departments or send us a DM on social media. Thanks again to those of you who take the time to share feedback on road conditions or other issues concerning your highways.