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Weekend I-5 lane closures in Seattle start Friday

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Date:  Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Contact: Broch Bender, WSDOT communications, 206-440-4699

Crews to take time-out before championship game starts Sunday

SEATTLE – Starting at 8 p.m. Friday, Jan. 17, lane closures on Interstate 5 in Seattle will allow construction crews to perform vital expansion joint replacement surgery.

It’s the first of nine weekends of I-5 lane closures through early spring 2014. The next round of closures is scheduled for the following weekend – Jan. 24-25.

For these first two weekends, crews will reduce northbound I-5 down to one or two lanes just north of the I-90 interchange. Lanes will be closed Friday night through 10 a.m. Sunday morning.

“We plan to be off the highway well before the roar of the 12th Man takes over CenturyLink Field on Sunday; however we still need help from drivers to keep traffic moving on Friday night and all day Saturday,” said WSDOT project engineer Aleta Borschowa.

Typically, traffic volumes hover around 70,000 vehicles per day on northbound I-5 between I-90 and Olive Way, with the heaviest congestion seen during the early afternoon hours.

“Northbound I-5 approaching downtown Seattle is a well-known bottleneck area even without construction closures,” said Maan Sidhu, WSDOT traffic engineer. “To keep traffic flowing at a steady pace, we need to reduce traffic by 75 percent on this stretch of northbound I-5.”

Drivers can avoid construction closures altogether by choosing an alternate route, such as I-405, SR 599 and SR 99. Carpooling and taking public transportation also are good options. 

This weekend’s construction traffic details: 

8 p.m. Friday, Jan. 17, through 10 a.m. Sunday, Jan. 19 

  • Up to three of four lanes of northbound I-5 closed between South Spokane Street and Yesler Way. 
  • Access to and from I-90, S. Dearborn Street, and Edgar Martinez Drive South will remain open. 
  • Crews will keep at least one or two lanes of northbound I-5 open at all times through the construction zone area.

Expansion joints help maintain a smooth driving surface by allowing the highway to expand and contract with changing weather. Replacing old expansions joints not only helps preserve I-5 well into the future, it also saves drivers hours of delays caused by emergency highway repairs.

Tools for drivers

This is phase two of a $13.5 million, two-phase project. The project lasts through early spring. For more information, please visit the project website: http://www.wsdot.wa.gov/Projects/I5/SeattleBridgeRepair/


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