Thursday, July 21, 2022

Navigating a Mariners win streak with a ton of needed roadwork this weekend

By Mike Allende

You’ve heard us say this before, and it holds true today – it’s impossible to completely avoid disrupting events in the Seattle area in the summer and still get important work done. There are big events basically every weekend of the summer, whether it’s a holiday weekend, Seafair, or sports events.

That’s the case this coming weekend as well.

Thanks to a 14-game winning streak, the Seattle Mariners go into a weekend series at T-Mobile Park against the first-place Houston Astros with a likely chance to sell out all three games. When our construction schedules were made – months ago – even the most optimistic Mariners fan, which I have been for 40 years, would not have expected them to be riding a 14-game win streak. Who could predict that?

While the stands were empty in this picture, the Mariner Moose and the rest of the team are expecting packed houses at T-Mobile Park this weekend as they play the Houston Astros.

And yet, here we are. We still have work we need to get done. Work that, because of the extensive concrete paving involved, can only be done when we have predictably dry, warmer weather. In our part of the world that is a very small window. The concrete needs time to cure, so it can’t all be done between midnight and 6 a.m. There isn’t enough time to avoid summer, daytime work.

Postponing the work isn’t an option. We have a full schedule of work this summer that we need to try to complete. Postponing would cost a significant amount of money and would set us far behind in our ability to make improvements to the highways and would affect work already planned for next summer. And, while disruptive now, all of this work will help improve overall travel throughout the area for years to come.

Contractors on the Revive I-5 project have fully replaced 15 expansion joints so far, and partially replaced nine others. Work continues pretty much every weekend into September.

Because we know there are a lot of people headed to the stadium – including me – along with other events around the area, and because we know we have to get this work done, we do the best we can to let people know about it ahead of time so they can make plans. Those plans may include taking public transit, setting up carpools or planning to leave earlier than normal.

What is happening this weekend?

  • Revive I-5 work will be happening once again as we continue replacing expansion joints. Southbound I-5 traffic between I-90 and the West Seattle Bridge will be re-directed into the collector-distributor lanes at about 7:30 p.m. Friday – after the Mariners game starts – until 5 a.m. Monday. This will add delays so everyone who can divert from the area helps others make it through more easily.
  • Southbound I-5 will be fully closed between Stewart and Spring streets, with lanes starting to close at 9 p.m. Friday until 6 a.m. Saturday for some significant maintenance work.
  • Two right lanes of northbound I-5 will be closed from SR 520 to NE 45th Street from 11 p.m. Saturday to 7 a.m. Sunday for maintenance on the Ship Canal Bridge. The I-5 express lanes will run northbound all weekend except from 8 p.m. Friday to 5 a.m. Saturday when they will be southbound.
  • SR 18 will be fully closed between I-90 and Issaquah-Hobart Road for a variety of work including extensive maintenance.
  • These closures and work will affect congestion and cause delays, so everyone who can divert from the areas helps others make it through more easily.
SR 18 will be fully closed for most of the day Saturday between I-90 and Issaquah-Hobart Road as we’ll squeeze several different projects into one day of work.

This is going to be a challenge. We get that. If there was a way to do this work without disrupting events, we’d do it. But there isn’t, and so we are doing the best we can to get the word out so Mariners fans and all other travelers can plan ahead to be sure they get where they’re going in plenty of time to not miss their events.

We appreciate you understanding the challenges we face getting our roadwork done within a small weather window, and we’ll continue to keep you in the loop of upcoming closures.