Starting August 10th the Department of Transportation (DOT) will close two to three lanes of Interstate 5 northbound between the West Seattle Bridge and the 1-5/1-90 interchange. The lane closures will last all day and continue through August 29th. These closures are expected to slow traffic on I-5 and cause congestion on I-405, the I-90 Bridge, Highway 99, and on surface streets throughout the area. According to Jamie Holter, a DOT spokeswoman, this will be the largest-scale DOT highway closure ever in Seattle.
About 130,000 drivers daily use the stretch of I-5 where the construction will take place. The DOT is hoping that about half of those driver’s will find alternate routes during the lane closures. The agency is encouraging drivers to plan their alternate routes now. They say if people do not find alternate routes, the backups on I-5 could extend to Tacoma and congestion in the area could last from 4:00 a.m. till 11:00 p.m. In order to help drivers, the DOT will provide alternate route maps and updates on traffic conditions on their web site.
During the closures, DOT crews will be replacing metal joints on the roadway. Currently the joints are outdated and may pop up into the middle of the freeway. The crews will also repave the highway. Holter stated that replacing the joints is a very time consuming and complex job and that is why weekend or night closures were ruled out.
There will also be some on-ramp closures throughout the surrounding area:
-The Spokane Street on-ramp will close for two weekends -The Columbian Way on-ramp will be closed
-One lane of northbound Airport Way South will be for transit and trucks only -Northbound I-5 exits to Fourth Avenue South, I-90 and James, Madison and Dearborn streets will close periodically -Other onramps will be closed and northbound I-5 will be reduced to one lane at night
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