Six construction closures and four popular festivals will clog this weekend’s Seattle-Tacoma area traffic. Plan to leave early and travel safely.
Six highway-construction closures should tempt the traffic-averse among us to stay home this weekend.
Adding to the congestion, four popular community festivals will clog streets in Fremont, Issaquah, Tacoma and the Lake Washington side of Seattle.
Here are the highway closures, listed by the impact on travelers.
• Interstate 5 northbound through SeaTac will be reduced to two lanes until just before Southcenter Boulevard in Tukwila, from 10 p.m. Friday until 4 a.m. Monday, the second of six weekends of south-end pavement repairs. Junctions with Highway 518 to the airport and Interstate 405 to Renton will remain open.
Traffic Lab is a Seattle Times project that digs into the region’s thorny transportation issues, spotlights promising approaches to easing gridlock, and helps readers find the best ways to get around. It is funded with the help of community sponsors Alaska Airlines, CenturyLink, Kemper Development Co., Sabey Corp., Seattle Children’s hospital and Ste. Michelle Wine Estates. Seattle Times editors and reporters operate independently of our funders and maintain editorial control over Traffic Lab content.
• Interstate 90 from North Bend to Ellensburg will see delays both directions for bridge and deck repairs. Highway officials forecast stop-and-go zones of 3 to 4 miles Friday afternoon at Denny Creek going east, and other slowdowns through Cle Elum temporary lanes. Returning westbound, drivers might find congestion of 4 to 6 miles from Cle Elum to the Easton area on summer afternoons.
• In Issaquah, the East Lake Sammamish Parkway north of I-90, which carries 50,000 cars a day, remains mostly closed until Monday morning for culvert replacements to aid salmon swimming up Issaquah Creek.
• The I-90 on- and offramps at Bellevue Way Southeast will close from 7 a.m. Saturday until 9 p.m. Sunday for Sound Transit light-rail work, which occupies three lanes of lower Bellevue Way. The closure will divert cars into the perennially slow I-405 junction to enter central Bellevue. Expect the same closure the following weekend.
• Tacoma’s central Exit 133, from northbound I-5 to northbound I-705, remains closed for high-occupancy lane construction.
• Two inside lanes of the Montlake Bridge near the University of Washington will close Saturday from 5:30 to 11:30 a.m. for deck repairs. Light rail to the UW Station may be a good alternative for travelers heading to campus or places nearby.
A series of overnight ramp closures, lane reductions and rolling slowdowns will tangle traffic entering eastbound I-90 near the I-5 junction in Seattle, from 9 p.m. Thursday until 5 a.m. Friday, as crews replace temporary lane stripes with permanent ones.
Festivals drawing large crowds include the Fremont Solstice Fair, which encourages arrival via bicycle or transit, all day Saturday and Sunday. The main parade — which includes handmade floats, musicians and the famed body-painted bicyclists — is Saturday at 1 p.m.
Vintage cars will be on display at Fenders on Front Street in downtown Issaquah Sunday from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Tacoma’s Festival of Sail and its tall ships will run from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday, Saturday and Sunday, along Thea Foss Waterway.
In Seattle, the Seafair Rock ’n’ Roll Marathon and half-marathon will wind from Husky Stadium to Genesee Park and to Century Link Field, starting at 6:30 a.m. Sunday. The full 26-mile course also loops around Seward Park and races over the northbound Alaskan Way Viaduct to Queen Anne Hill.