Tuesday, August 9, 2022

Revive I-5 work this weekend includes paving to remove the south end bumps

By Tom Pearce

This weekend's work on southbound I-5 in Seattle will be a bit different than what we've been doing this summer. In addition to replacing expansion joints, our Revive I-5 contractor will repave part of the freeway to start to eliminate those infamous bumps near Spokane Street. It's going to take several weeks to complete all that paving, but this will be a start.

The first weekend with pavement work will begin at about 7:30 p.m. Friday, Aug. 12, and will continue through 5 a.m. Monday, Aug. 15. We'll work on the left lanes, which means:

  • All traffic will use the collector/distributor
  • The I-90 ramps to southbound I-5 will be closed, except for two hours after stadium events
  • The express lanes also will remain northbound all weekend, because the southbound merge point is inside the work zone
The old expansion joints on I-5 are cut to remove them before being replaced by new ones.

While drivers became used to the "ka-klunk" along the section where the old expansion joints were about three-quarters of an inch below the new road surface, the final three joints in the series we replaced earlier this year created a bump. We've been working on a solution ever since and now we're ready to start.

It's taken this long because we needed to secure funding and our contractor had to find a subcontractor to do the work. This is the peak of construction season, so many contractors already have other work. The labor market is very tight right now, so finding people to do the work also was a challenge. But we now have a schedule to eliminate these bumps while we do expansion joint replacement.

We’ll start repaving the section of southbound I-5 near Spokane Street this coming weekend.

During about four weekends when we're replacing expansion joints, we'll extend our lane reductions to include part of this area and we'll repave this section. The longer lane reductions shouldn't increase traffic backups. Those are created by people merging as we reduce the number of lanes available. We've found that once people are in the final configuration, they go at a steady speed, then accelerate when all lanes are open.

As always people will want to plan ahead for weekend travel. People have been taking this message to heart. During the many weeks we have been working on this, we've seen a decline in the length of backups. We still have them and no one likes to sit in traffic, especially on a hot summer day.

So remember, you can still get to your events, but consider using alternative routes, light rail, transit or carpool to your events. And thanks for your patience as we complete this important preservation work.


Publius Varrus said...

Wow, thanks SOOOOOO much for the whole 1-day warning. Really helped when we only found out about the closure the day of. I mean, we were only stuck in traffic for half an hour during the 1.6 mile stretch of road you closed off, so it could have been worse, but still.... Your WSDOT AM radio station said absolutely nothing at all about the closure. It only repeated the silver alert. Maybe stagger and mix up your radio announcements in the future? And next time, how about you close the street off on the OTHER side of the Express Lane? Freeway users were ABSOLUTELY NOT routed through the express lane, but instead foisted off to Dearborn, while only the Seattlites were allowed express lane access. Just a real shitshow from the DOT.

Roundabout Fan said...

What do you mean 1 day warning? WSDOT has been advertising weekend closures on southbound I-5 for the last 6 months?

WSDOT comment policy

Post a Comment