Thursday, December 27, 2018

Emergency expansion joint repair doesn’t top 2018 wish lists, but northbound I-5 is getting one anyway during dual weekend lane reductions

Two lanes through Tukwila remain open during closures Jan. 5-6 and in February

By Frances Fedoriska

"New expansion joint hardware" didn't make any holiday wish lists this year, but I-5 is still going to get one due to the fact an old one broke in October.

This emergency replacement requires two weekends of lane reductions on northbound I-5 at the Duwamish River Bridge. Contractor crews working for WSDOT will spend the first weekend – Jan. 5-6 - replacing metal on half the joint, then transfer to the other half during the second weekend closure, likely in February. This allows us to keep two lanes of northbound I-5 open while critical work is still being done.

Why reduce lanes now?
With State Route 99 closing for three weeks starting the night of Friday, Jan. 11, we need to be sure I-5 is in the best condition possible so it can handle all the extra traffic.

What was old, was actually really, really old
Contractor crews working for the Washington State Department of Transportation replaced this joint in May 2017. They used steel pieces from the old joint, which at the time, were thought to still have some useful life left. Flash forward to October 2018, when part of the metal broke and had to be removed. This permanent fix will keep the joint in good working order for many years.

What we need from drivers
Be prepared for the drive on I-5 north through Tukwila to take longer than usual during the two weekends of lane reductions. The first weekend begins at 8 p.m. Friday, Jan. 4 and will end by 5 a.m. Monday, Jan. 7.
  • Our website will have closure updates.
  • Sign up for weekly email updates on King County projects.
  • Our Twitter account will have info about traffic.
  • Download our mobile app for traffic maps and other news and updates.

Expansion joint repair

Thanks in advance
We know there's no good time to limit lanes on I-5. As soon as we have the dates for the second closure in February, we will update the links mentioned above. We thank you in advance for any adjustments you make to help us complete this important repair.