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I-5 - NE 117th St to SR 104 Pavement Repair

Project map of the work area.
Click here to view larger version of map.

Age, traffic, and weather have contributed to cracking in the pavement.
Cracking on I-5 from 50 years of traffic and weather has led to concrete in need of repair.


March 2015

  • Concrete grinding work is underway. This work is taking place during overnight hours. Grinding work is unavoidably noisy. To report noise concerns, or request earplugs, please call 206-440-4DOT (4368)
  • Updated 3/27: Where is the grinding work right now?
    • Crews are working in the right lanes of northbound I-5 between NE 175th and SR 104 They are expected to be in this area through mid-April.
    • Work in the southbound lanes between 145th and 117th (Northgate) could begin in mid-April 
    • Grinding work is weather-dependent. Rain or cold temperatures could delay the work.
  • Check the I-5 construction update report for details about lane and ramp closures. Look for "I-5: NE 117th Street to SR 104 pavement repair."
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In summer 2014, crews will replace 277 concrete panels and grind out cracks and bumps on I-5 between Northeast 117th Street near Northgate and SR 104 in Mountlake Terrace. The work will help extend the life of the road and improve driver safety.

This project is similar to concrete grinding and replacement work WSDOT has performed on I-5 in Kent, Seattle near the Ship Canal Bridge, and I-405 near Bellevue.

Why is WSDOT repairing concrete panels from Northeast 117th Street to SR 104?

The pavement on I-5 through King County was first installed between 1962 and 1965. It was designed to last through the 1980s. High traffic volumes, age and weather have all contributed to the telling signs of failing pavement - cracks, bumps and what pavement engineers call spalling. Spalling is pavement that is flaking, chipping or crumbling apart. However you might describe it, the pavement is failing and it’s time for longer lasting repairs.

Repairing damaged concrete panels helps extend the life of I-5.
• Vehicles of varying weights pass over panels causing the concrete to flex. Cracked panels can’t flex properly, which leads to more cracking and damage.
• Normally, concrete panels expand and contract with seasonal temperature change. Cracked panels are no different, but become increasingly damaged when moisture freezes and thaws in the existing cracks.

Repairing or replacing cracked concrete panels helps keep drivers safe.
• Repairing concrete reduces bumps and cracks, making for a safer, smoother ride. 
• Grinding the concrete creates more friction for vehicle tires, improving traction. Grinding also creates more pathways for water to drain from the roadway.

Doing the work now saves money in the long term and helps reduce the need for emergency repairs.

Common questions

  • What is the schedule?
    • By the end of March we estimate the crews will complete the northbound section between Northeast 145th and Northeast 175th.
    • Late March/early April: tentatively scheduled to be working northbound between 175th and the King-Snohomish County line.
    • Mid to late April: northbound lanes and ramps complete. Work then begins in the southbound lanes.
    • Late summer: southbound lane grinding complete.
  • How long will the work be by my house?
    • Because it's a moving operation, nearby residents may hear the machines very faintly in the background as they move closer. Then there could be two or three nights where they are very close and the noise is much more noticeable. As they begin moving away, the noise will fade away. This may occur a few times until the project is complete later this fall.
  • Why can't this work be done during the day?
    • This section of I-5 carries more than 180,000 vehicles each day. Contractor crews need to close several lanes to provide room to work and keep the workers safe. Closing several lanes of I-5 during the day would create massive congestion and delays. Imagine a morning commute that doesn't end and gets absorbed into the afternoon commute.
  • Does WSDOT have free earplugs available for this?
    Yes! Please call our noise hotline at 206-440-4DOT (4368) or contact Kris Olsen at

The End Result

Crews will replace 277 of the worst concrete panels on this stretch of I-5 and grind all the lanes. The work will help prolong the life of the road and provide a safer, smooth ride for drivers.

Project Benefits

Improved Safety – replacing cracked concrete panels and grinding out cracks and bumps makes for a smoother, safer ride for drivers

Extends the life of I-5 - reduces the need for emergency repairs, which are costly to taxpayers and can cause unwanted congestion during peak travel periods.

What is the project timeline?

  • Spring 2014 - The project advertised for competitive bidding.
  • The project was awarded to Granite Construction Co. on June 27, 2014.
  • Summer 2014 - Construction starts.
  • Fall 2015 - The project is scheduled to be operationally complete. Operationally complete means the majority of work is done and the roadway is open to traffic.

Financial Information

Financial Data for PIN 100527T, 100528Q
Funding Source Amount ($ in thousands)
2003 Gas Tax (Nickel Funding) $877
2005 Gas Tax (TPA) $0
Pre-Existing Funds (PEF) $11,300
Total $12,177

Project signage will reflect the cost of construction engineering, project bid award and sales tax.

How can I get more information?

John Chi
WSDOT Project Engineer
Phone: (425) 225-8741

Kris Olsen
WSDOT Communications
Phone: (206) 440-4704

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