Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Only one week left to plan for South King County I-5 lane reductions

By Marqise Allen

Traffic will be reduced to two lanes between
SeaTac and Des Moines the weekends of
July 8-11, 15-18 and 22-25.
You may have heard a little something about an upcoming southbound I-5 rehab project between Tukwila and Federal Way. Well it's right around the corner! Drivers should start planning now for  five weekends of lane closures: July 8-11, 15-18 and 22-25, and August 12-15 and 19-22.

Whether you're planning on catching a Mariners or Sounders game, flexing your taste buds at the Bite of Seattle, or have plans to fly out of town, you're going to want to give yourself more time to get where you're going.

What can drivers expect?
Weekend backups are likely between 9 a.m. and 9 p.m. Reducing a stretch of southbound I-5 to two lanes during the weekend will mean backups and delays. How big? That depends on how many drivers adjust their travel plans.

Traffic will use the two right lanes
on the Duwamish River Bridge
the weekend of Aug. 19-22.
Drivers should:
  • Plan at least an extra hour of travel time.
  • Stay plugged in to traffic conditions before hitting the road by checking the WSDOT website or using the WSDOT app to get up-to-date before you leave home.

Traffic will use the two left lanes of
southbound I-5 the weekend of Aug. 12-15,
with several on- and off-ramps closed.
Use alternate routes:
  • I-405, and state routes 99, 167, 509, 900 and 18. Remember, these routes will experience congestion as well.

When is this happening?
Southbound I-5 will be reduced to two lanes from 8 p.m. on Friday to 5 a.m. on Monday at these locations:
  • The weekends of July 8-11, 15-18 and 22-25 between South 188th and South 219th streets.
  • The weekend of Aug. 12-15 from the Duwamish River to the Klickitat Drive overpass.
  • The weekend of Aug. 19-22 at the Duwamish River.

We won't be doing any work Independence Day weekend or the weekend of the Seafair Torchlight Parade and Seafair boat races.

Why is WSDOT doing this?
The interstate needs to be rehabilitated. It was built in 1965 and was intended to last 25 years. It's 2016. The 13-mile stretch of southbound I-5 between the Duwamish River Bridge in Tukwila and South 320th Street in Federal Way has potholes, wheel ruts, cracking and worn expansion joints. It ain't pretty.

This project started in March and will continue into 2017 with most work being done during nighttime lane closures. Contractor crews will use a variety of methods to bring a better road surface to drivers. Crews will replace expansion joints, remove 238 concrete panels and pour new ones; repave asphalt; grind off ruts,; and repave a 2.7-mile section using a crack, seat and overlay process.

We know this will be an inconvenience for drivers, so we want to send out a big thank you in advance. There's a lot to do in five weekends, but we're going to work hard during these few weekends to bring people a better and safer highway to travel on for the next few decades.