Drivers asked to plan ahead to avoid backups and delays
VANCOUVER – Installation of a dozen concrete girders will shut down Interstate 5 and reroute thousands of drivers to Interstate 205 this weekend. The Washington State Department of Transportation advises drivers to avoid travel through the area or expect detours and delays.
WSDOT contractor crews building a new interchange at Northeast 139th Street will close both directions of I-5 just south of the I-5/I-205 junction in Salmon Creek at 11 p.m. Friday, June 7. All lanes on the interstate will remain closed through the weekend, reopening by 5 a.m. Monday, June 10.
The weekend-long closure has the potential to create miles of traffic backups and delays throughout Clark County. The severity of congestion on other highways and local roads depends heavily on drivers’ decisions.
“If everyone hits the road like normal, then traffic in Clark County will grind to a halt,” said WSDOT project engineer Leon Winger. “We really need drivers to plan ahead. Avoid travel if possible. If you need to drive, familiarize yourself with the detour routes and plan for extra time when heading to flights, appointments and other events.”
Construction work will be concentrated in Salmon Creek, but the closures will extend to a larger section of the I-5 corridor next weekend. In order to keep traffic moving and avoid dumping thousands of interstate drivers onto local roads, WSDOT will close the interstate five miles south of the project and reroute traffic to State Route 500. Ramps at five I-5 interchanges will also be closed.
Interstate closure details
Ramp closure details
The following interchange ramps will be closed 10 p.m. Friday, June 7, to 5 a.m. Monday, June 10.
During the closure, crane operators will lift a dozen 165-foot-long girders into place above I-5. Each girder weighs nearly 175,000 pounds and will take approximately three hours to install.
WSDOT has a variety of resources to help drivers plan ahead and stay informed during the closure, including detour maps, email updates, a live project camera and Vancouver-based Twitter account.