Thursday, July 7, 2016

Work on I-90 tunnels, I-5 South King County highlight busy weekend

By Andrea Flatley

Lane reductions on southbound I-5 between Tukwila
and Des Moines could create significant delays while
crews continue major highway improvement work.
Note:This work has been canceled this weekend.

The sun is (mostly) shining, vacations are underway and roads are (mostly) dry. That's right, it's summer, and that means it's construction season in the Pacific Northwest. While the weather here lets us get some work done year round – unlike our friends in the Midwest – much of what crews need to do to make sure roads are safe for our use is weather dependent, making the summer months around the state busy ones on our roads.

Another #WSDOTbusywknd is coming up (I see you rolling your eyes saying to yourself, "they've all been busy weekends!"). This one is going to be construction busy though – not just event busy.  Take a look.

What's happening
In case you need any help with the above illustration, here's what's happening in the Seattle area Friday, July 8 to Monday, July 11.
  • Eastbound I-90 between Seattle and Bellevue will be reduced to one lane and detoured into the express lanes from 11 p.m. Friday to 5 a.m. Monday.
    • If you need to head east across Lake Washington early Sunday morning plan ahead for a slightly longer trip as a rolling slowdown will cause delays of up to 15 minutes between   3 a.m. and 5 a.m. for crews install a new sign bridge near the entrance to the Mount Baker Tunnel.
      • To accommodate the rolling slowdown crews will close the ramps from both directions of I-5 to eastbound I-90 from 2:30 a.m. to 5:30 a.m. on Sunday, July 10. During that time drivers should follow the signed detours and use Fourth Avenue South to access eastbound I-90.
    • This closure is a make-up due to that March windstorm when SR 520 had to be closed and we needed crews to pick-up and open I-90 during a previously scheduled closure weekend.
    • Read more about this project that's extending the HOV lane from Mercer Island to Seattle and preparing the express lanes for Sound Transit's East Link light rail project.
  • #SouthKingSlowdown kicks off weekend reductions! This work has been rained out and will be rescheduled at a later date.
    • Southbound I-5 between Tukwila and Des Moines will be reduced to a max of two lanes starting at 8 p.m. Friday until 5 a.m. Monday
    • Expect delays
    • Use alternate routes like SR 167 and SR 99
    • Delay trips/avoid area if possible
    • Give yourself lots of time if trying to get to the airport and consider taking Link light rail
  • Friday night, the Dixie Chicks play at White River Amphitheater so plan for delays in and out of that area along State Route 164.
  • Saturday at noon, the Sounders have a big match at CenturyLink Field against the LA Galaxy. This is another good chance to consider using transit. Sound Transit is running event Sounder service from Lakewood and Everett (and points in between) to the match.

Eastbound I-90 traffic across Lake Washington will be detoured to the express lanes this weekend
for continued work on the Mt. Baker and Mercer Island tunnels.

Stay plugged in
So, another #WSDOTbusywknd – we appreciate you taking the time to plan ahead, know alternate routes and being an engaged community member so you can try to stay out of traffic and help minimize the congestion for your neighbors as well.