Crews will be making repairs near Spokane Street, cutting southbound traffic to one lane.

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Motorists should expect transit and traffic delays this weekend as crews conduct emergency repairs.

Link light-rail will be slowed because crews must replace rails that cracked where the overhead trackway crosses I-5 between Seattle and Tukwila. Trains will alternate on a single track Friday after 9 p.m. and all day Sunday between Rainier Beach and Tukwila International Boulevard stations, which will cause possible delays and crowding.  And on Saturday, the line in that area will close completely so that riders must catch bus shuttles from Rainier Beach Station to Tukwila or the Sea-Tac/Airport Station.

The cause of cracks in the 9-year-old rails has yet to be determined, spokeswoman Kimberly Reason said Friday morning.

This overhead image shows squiggly cracks on top of the railhead, at the I-5 overcrossing south of Rainier Beach. (Sound Transit photo)
This overhead image shows squiggly cracks on top of the railhead, at the I-5 overcrossing south of Rainier Beach. (Sound Transit photo)

 

 

Meanwhile, southbound I-5 will shrink to a single lane near Spokane Street on Saturday night so crews can rehabilitate an expansion joint and the damaged concrete in the three left lanes.

The work is scheduled to begin at 8:30 p.m. and last until 8:30 a.m. Sunday, depending on weather. It had been planned for Friday night, but rain postponed the work.  This is the second straight weekend for emergency repairs, said Tom Pearce, spokesman for the Washington State Department of Transportation.

In addition, express lanes on I-5  won’t be open Saturday morning southbound until 10:30 a.m. The late start allows crews to clear the drains on the Ship Canal Bridge. Then they will stay open normally until 1:30 p.m. and reverse to northbound at 1:45 p.m.

On Sunday, express lanes in the southbound direction will not open until 11 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. They will open in the northbound direction at 1:45 p.m.

The I-5 main line across the Ship Canal Bridge will remain open during the cleaning.

In a third closure, crews are scheduled to close Highway 520’s westbound exits to Montlake and Lake Washington boulevards overnights on Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights starting at 9 p.m.  Normal traffic flows will be available during the day. The state is striping for a new transit-only lane that will save several minutes for buses going from the Eastside to the University District via Montlake.

The new transit-only lane exiting Highway 520. (WSDOT map)
The new transit-only lane exiting Highway 520. (WSDOT map)

Updated traffic information is available through WSDOT’s traffic app and on its Twitter feed.