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Southbound I-5 lanes Seattle reopens early after major weekend work

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Date:  Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Contact: Travis Phelps, WSDOT communications, 206-440-4698

SEATTLE – Contractor crews working for the Washington State Department of Transportation have reopened all lanes of southbound Interstate 5 through downtown Seattle after completing work to replace several 70-foot-long expansion joints in the aging highway.

The lanes between Pine Street and I-90 reopened nearly six hours ahead of schedule at 11:10 p.m. Monday. Southbound I-5 though Seattle was reduced to just a single lane for the majority of the Presidents Day weekend while contractor crews completed important safety and highway preservation work.

“We want to thank drivers for planning ahead and adjusting their plans over the three-day weekend,” said Aleta Borschowa, WSDOT project engineer. “We know this work created some challenging commutes for many drivers, but we appreciate driver’s patience and help to keep traffic moving.”

What’s next?
This weekend contractor crews completed the third of nine scheduled closures. The next closure is scheduled to begin at 10 p.m. Friday, Feb. 21, and last until 5 a.m. Monday, Feb. 24:

  • The work will take place on the southbound I-5 collector-distributor, which runs parallel to the interstate.
  • The southbound I-5 collector-distributor, located just south of the Washington State Convention Center, will be reduced to one lane.
  • The on-ramps from Spring and James streets to southbound I-5 will also be closed.
  • Drivers traveling through the work zone can still access mainline southbound I-5 and eastbound I-90, but should expect significant delays.

WSDOT needs help from drivers to keep traffic moving
Drivers who need to travel south through Seattle next weekend should plan ahead for construction and create a commuting strategy:

  • Allow extra time to travel through the work zone.
  • Consider alternate routes such as I-405 or SR 99.
  • Ride transit, carpool or use other alternate forms of transportation.
  • Travel early in the morning or later in the evening or reschedule discretionary trips.

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

This $2.8 million project will wrap up in spring 2014. For more information, please visit the project website.


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