Local Information

Less weaving, improved safety with new striping on the northbound I-5 express lanes entrance in downtown Seattle

Tuesday, November 6, 2018 - 13:56

Tom Pearce, communications, 206-440-4696

New double striping means drivers will have to choose lane sooner

SEATTLE – Although it seems like a small change, new striping on northbound Interstate 5 near the express lanes entrance will make a big difference in reducing weaving and last-minute lane changes. For people who travel this stretch, it means they will need to choose their lane sooner or face a hefty fine.

Contractor crews working for the Washington State Department of Transportation will add double white lines to the left lane of northbound I-5 about 1,700 feet prior to the express lanes entrance Tuesday night, Nov. 6. The striping is similar to markings that separate the I-405 express toll lanes from the general purpose lanes.

“We’ve seen some unnecessary stopping and backups on northbound I-5 when drivers try to find a gap near the ramp,” said WSDOT Traffic Operations Engineer Morgan Balogh. “Moving the decision point farther back and eliminating last-minute lane changes improves safety and keeps traffic moving more smoothly.”

Once this work is complete, it will be illegal to move in or out of the left lane near the express lanes entrance. Those caught crossing the double white line will be subject to a $136 fine.

Nighttime lane closures
Lane closures on northbound I-5 lanes will begin at 9 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 6, near Spokane Street. All traffic will be routed to the collector-distributor lanes to allow crews room to restripe the express lane entrance to its new configuration. All lanes will reopen by 5 a.m. Wednesday, Nov. 7. The work is weather-dependent.

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