Wednesday, July 13, 2016

The #SouthKingSlowdown expands to include work on SR 167; New webpage shows alternate routes for drivers

By Harmony Weinberg

Let's try this again.

It's go time for our #SouthKingSlowdown weekends! Yes, we know, we've been talking about this for awhile, and yes, it was supposed to start last weekend, but rain delayed the first of our five weekends of lane reductions for major roadwork in South King County. But the forecast is favorable for this coming weekend, so let's get ready...again.

A new #SouthKingSlowdown webpage makes
it easier to plan for a summer of busy
roadwork in South King County.
Drivers should begin preparing now for the
weekend of Aug. 19-22 when southbound I-5
will have major land reductions and, 18 miles
away, southbound SR 167 will be closed.
This time, though, we have a bit more news to share. Besides the five weekends of lane reductions on southbound I-5, there will also be a full closure of southbound State Route 167 in the Algona/Pacific area in late-August.

You might be thinking, "Why on earth would WSDOT throw a double-whammy of major southbound weekend construction work at us? How are we supposed to get around?" Fair questions.

While lane reductions and closures on both southbound I-5 and southbound SR 167 sounds daunting, the two closures are actually 18 miles apart, and there are several alternate routes to give drivers options get around.

A weekend-by-weekend breakdown
To help navigate the  closures, we've created a new #SouthKingSlowdown calendar webpage that breaks things down by weekend. You'll find maps of the work areas, alternate route ideas along with a list of special events for each weekend that may add to the congestion.

About that extra-busy weekend
As we mentioned, the weekend of Aug. 19-22 be especially busy. In addition to reducing southbound I-5 to two lanes at the Duwamish River Bridge, all of southbound SR 167 between Algona and Pacific will be completely closed between Ellingson Road in Algona and 8th Street East in Pacific for the SR 167 Southbound HOT Lane Extension project. The work will include paving 1½ miles of SR 167 and installing a large portion of a new Jovita Creek fish culvert under the highway. We've highlighted all the alternate routes around both closures in our map.

Again, remember, this work is almost 20 miles apart from each other so one shouldn't affect the other and there will be plenty of options to get around it.

We appreciate your patience
There's never a good time to close lanes of traffic, or completely close a road for that matter. Some of this work has to be done when we have dry weather, and some of it requires full weekends to get done. In the case of the SR 167 closure, we're condensing what would be 30 nighttime single-lane closures into three days of full closures. We hope this new webpage will help you find your way around the closures, and we also suggest downloading the WSDOT app for live traffic maps and information, and following us on Twitter for further updates on the project and traffic conditions. And as always, we appreciate your patience and cooperation as we get this important work done.

This area of southbound I-5 in Tukwila will have significant lane
reductions July 15-18 for a major roadwork project.

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