Washington State Department of Transportation
April 4, 2013
Contact: Broch Bender, WSDOT communications, 206-440-4699 (Shoreline)
I-5 reduced from 5 to 2 lanes all weekend
SEATTLE –Drivers should plan for another weekend of delays on northbound Interstate 5 in South Seattle. Contractor crews working for the Washington State Department of Transportation will once again close three of the five lanes from South Albro Place to South Spokane Street, reducing traffic capacity by 60 percent.
The lane reductions are necessary to complete the replacement of four worn and aging highway expansion joints. In addition to the lane closure, crews also will close the Swift Avenue South on-ramp to northbound I-5.
“Last weekend drivers did us a favor by taking Interstates 405 and 90 into Seattle,” said WSDOT project engineer Aleta Borschowa. “This weekend we could see increased congestion as folks return home from spring break. It’s a good idea to plan ahead and consider using a less traveled alternate route such as State Route 599 into Seattle.”
Some drivers experienced delays during last weekend’s closures on the same stretch of I-5, but most traffic backups were minimal thanks to people who adjusted their travel plans. Backups on northbound I-5 last weekend stretched two to four miles from the closure, resulting in delays up to 35 minutes from SeaTac to the West Seattle/I-5 interchange.
Weekend lane closure details
Friday, April 5 – Monday, April 8
- Up to three lanes closed on northbound I-5 between South Albro Place and the West Seattle Bridge 8 p.m. Friday to 5 a.m. Monday.
- Swift Avenue South on-ramp to northbound I-5 closed 8 p.m. Friday to 5 a.m. Monday. Detour via S. Michigan Street on-ramp.
- Four lanes closed on I-5 from South Albro Place to the West Seattle Bridge midnight to 4 a.m. Saturday and Monday to set and remove traffic barriers.
Alternate routes to Seattle
- Northbound SR 599 to Highway 99
- Northbound I-405 to westbound I-90
Keeping traffic moving
WSDOT will do everything possible to keep traffic moving during the weekend closures:
- I-90 express lanes will remain westbound all weekend for carpools.
- Additional Incident Response Team vehicles will be on duty to clear incidents and stalled vehicles.
Tools for drivers
- Seattle area traffic: www.wsdot.com/traffic/seattle/
- Travel alerts: www.wsdot.com/traffic/trafficalerts/
- Traffic products for your mobile phone and other wireless devices: www.wsdot.wa.gov/Inform/mobile.htm/
- Follow WSDOT on Twitter: @wsdot_traffic for Puget Sound traffic.
- Call 5-1-1 for traffic updates.
- Tune to highway advisory radio and watch electronic highway signs for information.
The 50-year-old expansion joints on this mile-long section of northbound I-5 top the state’s expansion joint replacement list, according to WSDOT bridge inspectors. The joints have reached a point when steel plates covering them could pop up and pose a traffic hazard.
The expansion joint replacement work is part of the $4.5 million I-5: Spokane Street Special Bridge Repair project.