Wednesday, August 10, 2016

#SouthKingSlowdown winding down by moving on up

Major I-5 project enters fourth weekend by moving north

By Caitlin Morris

Forty years after the Jeffersons were moving on up, the #SouthKingSlowdown will follow suit as the major I-5 rehab project is moving north. The project is entering its fourth of five weekends of lane reductions and here’s what to expect as we head up the highway.

Tukwila, here we come
This weekend, Aug. 12-15, our work will begin at SR 900/Martin Luther King Junior Way South and end at Klickitat Drive, a bit further north than our previous few weekends. With the move north, our contractor crews can replace expansion joints on the right side of the southbound I-5 Duwamish River Bridge and complete drainage repairs under the right lanes near the southbound I-405 interchange.

Crews place rebar to reinforce the concrete as they replace an expansion joint.

The slowdown details
The weekend-long lane reductions begin at 8 p.m. Friday, Aug. 12. By 10 p.m. Friday, traffic will be reduced to two lanes until 5 a.m. Monday, Aug. 15.
The HOV lane will be open to all vehicles throughout the weekend work.
In addition, the following ramps will be closed from 9 p.m. Friday to 5 a.m. Monday with signed detours in place:
  • The southbound SR 900/Martin Luther King Junior Way on-ramp to southbound I-5.
  • The southbound I-5 off-ramp to Interurban Avenue. 
  • The southbound SR 599 right side ramp to southbound I-5.
  • The southbound I-405 ramp to southbound I-5.

Meanwhile, on SR 167
Farther south, contractor crews have been constructing a 368-foot-long fish passable culvert under SR 167 in Algona/Pacific since early July. Crews have innovatively worked construction around traffic to save drivers from weeks of nighttime closures. But now, crews need to begin closing lanes and ramps over the next two weekends to complete the work.
The weekend of Aug. 19-22 work will take place on
southbound I-5 at the Duwamish River and
on southbound SR 167 in Pacific. The
green lines show alternate routes.

The details
This weekend, we’ll close the 8th Street East on-ramp to northbound SR 167 from 11 p.m. Friday Aug. 12, to 5 a.m. Monday, Aug. 15. To help drivers out, a signed detour will be in place.

While this weekend’s ramp closure is just a small taste of what’s ahead, the closure provides an opportunity to practice staying alert and using alternate routes in the area. The good news is the SR 167 closures and the I-5 lane reductions are 18 miles apart, with several alternate routes for drivers to navigate around them.

The culvert improvements are part of the SR 167 Southbound HOT Lane Extension project, and will help fish migration along Jovita Creek.

The grand finale approaches, Aug. 19-22
If you’re interested in strategizing your weekend trips and discovering how to nimbly navigate highway closures, then we’ve saved the best for last. The last weekend of the #SouthKingSlowdown, Aug. 19-22, the I-5 lane reductions continue in Tukwila. Also, 18 miles to the south, all lanes of southbound SR 167 will be closed in Algona and Pacific.

If you’d rather avoid it all, you may keep your weekend activities local. However, if you must drive through South King County the weekend of Aug. 19-20, we’ve created a map of alternate routes to help you plan your trip ahead of time.

So far, drivers have been doing great job staying alert and taking alternate routes. We need you to continue keep up your guard and practice planning and patience for the next two weeks. At the end of the #SouthKingSlowdown, I-5 and SR 167 drivers alike will enjoy a smoother, more comfortable stretch of road—and to top it off, the fish of Jovita Creek will benefit from better access to the habitat they need.