Freeway lane closures abound this weekend, led by resurfacing projects near Southcenter and across Snoqualmie Pass. Here are the spots you might want to avoid.
Repaving closures will limit Interstate 5 traffic between Federal Way and Southcenter this weekend, topping the list of chokepoints and events around the region.
• Northbound I-5 will provide only two open lanes from Highway 516 (Kent-Des Moines Road) to South 170th Street, in the third of five summer stages to resurface the roadway’s broken concrete. Ramps from Highway 516 to northbound I-5 will be closed.
The closures run from 10 p.m. Friday until 5 a.m. Monday. Freeway backups have been extending 5 to 6 miles at busy times, said Lisa Van Cise, Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) spokeswoman. However, a full 9 miles of stop-and-go traffic could be seen midday June 17 in this corridor. This weekend’s work won’t obstruct the Interstate 405 junction, but future work farther north will.
In the same corridor, overnight lane reductions are planned Wednesday and Thursday between 8 p.m. and 5 a.m.
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.
• The Bellevue Way interchange at Interstate 90 will close from 7 a.m. Saturday to 9 p.m. Sunday, so crews can work on the future light-rail extension.
• A left lane of southbound I-5 will close near the Tacoma Dome from 11 p.m. Friday until 5 a.m. Monday, as part of an ongoing high-occupancy-lane project. Traffic northbound will shift to the right Monday, while southbound exit patterns will change for trips to Highway 7, Highway 16 and the Narrows Bridge, or to Interstate 705 downtown.
• I-90 will be slow in spots between North Bend and Ellensburg, including long-term lane closures to repave concrete bridge decks. Two weekends ago, traffic delays were more than one hour westbound at Snoqualmie Pass and persisted as late as 11 p.m. Sunday.
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WSDOT is often asked why the lanes aren’t reopened for weekend travel surges. One reason is, the concrete must cure seven days after pouring, the agency says. Another obstacle would be the time required to constantly move and remove concrete barriers that protect work zones.
• The mainline of southbound I-5 in downtown Seattle will close overnight from just before midnight Friday until 5 a.m. Saturday, for routine maintenance and tests of fire-suppression equipment, where the state convention center straddles the road. However, the express lanes will be open southbound. Mainline vehicles will have to exit at Stewart Street, follow detours, and can’t re-enter until the I-90 junction.
• The I-5 Ship Canal Bridge southbound will be reduced to two lanes overnight from 10 p.m. Sunday until 5 a.m. Monday for deck repairs.
Events include Mariners baseball games Friday and Saturday evening and Sunday afternoon; a Sounders soccer match at noon Saturday; the Shawn Mendes pop concert at 7:30 p.m. Sunday at KeyArena; I Love the 90s concert starring TLC at Xfinity Arena in Everett; and the Arlington Fly-In all weekend.