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Weekend work on I-5 expansion joints in Seattle turns the corner

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Date:  Monday, March 10, 2014

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

Another closure slated for next weekend; work wraps up later this spring

SEATTLE – Contractor crews making repairs to aging expansion joints on Interstate 5 in downtown Seattle reached a milestone during the weekend. By completing work to replace the right half of the expansion joints on the northbound collector-distributor lanes just north of the Interstate 90 interchange, crews passed the halfway point of the repair process.

The lanes, which run parallel to the northbound I-5 mainline between I-90 and the Washington State Convention Center, reopened nearly two hours early at 3:10 a.m. Monday, March 10, in time for the morning commute. The northbound I-5 collector-distributor was reduced to a single lane this weekend while Washington State Department of Transportation contractor crews completed important safety and highway preservation work.

“We had some large events in Seattle this weekend and really appreciated that drivers helped us out by planning ahead and taking alternate routes,” said Aleta Borschowa, WSDOT project engineer. “The good news is, we’re more than halfway finished with this crucial project.”

What’s next?
The next closure is scheduled to for 10 p.m. Friday, March 14, until 5 a.m. Monday, March 17:

  • 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 be closed.
  • The off-ramp to Dearborn Street will 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 Interstate 405 or State Route 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 a highway to expand and contract with changing weather. Not only does replacing old expansion joints help 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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