Express lanes home

WSDOT uses the I-5 express lanes to assist the flow of traffic during busy travel times. These lanes are scheduled to move in the direction that will relieve the most congestion from the transportation system. We operate the lanes on a typical daily schedule that changes on the weekends and occasionally for major events.

No more last-minute lane changes

Crews added double white lines to the left lane of northbound I-5 about 1,700 feet prior to the northbound express lanes entrance Tuesday night, Nov. 6. This moved the decision point farther back eliminating last-minute lane changes which will improve safety and keep traffic moving smoothly. It is now illegal to move in or out of the left lane near the express lanes entrance.

I-5 Express Lanes in Seattle

I-5 Express Lanes Schedule


  • Southbound - 5 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.
  • Northbound - 11:15 a.m. to 11 p.m.
  • Closed: 11:00 p.m. - 5 a.m.

Saturday & Sunday

Please note that the express lane times given are only for the mainline entrances at Northgate and Downtown Seattle. Other express lane entrances may close earlier than the posted times.