Drivers can’t go directly from Highway 520 to the University of Washington this weekend, as construction closes three of four Montlake Boulevard lanes nearby.

Contractors will move a water pipe so it doesn’t conflict with the underground foundations of the planned Montlake freeway lid, said Steve Peer, spokesperson for the state’s Highway 520 replacement project. Both northbound lanes and one southbound lane will close just north of the 520-Montlake interchange.

Exits from both westbound and eastbound 520 to northbound Montlake Boulevard will close, although drivers arriving from Bellevue can still use the Lake Washington Boulevard East exit that leads traffic south toward Capitol Hill and Madison Valley. Bicycle routes will be available.

The closures begin at 10 p.m. Friday and last until 6 a.m. Monday.

Three of four Montlake Boulevard lanes near the bridge will close this weekend, blocking direct trips from Highway 520 to the University of Washington. (WSDOT diagram)
Three of four Montlake Boulevard lanes near the bridge will close this weekend, blocking direct trips from Highway 520 to the University of Washington. (WSDOT diagram)

About 110,000 vehicles travel Montlake Boulevard in a typical weekend, and about 30,000 vehicles use the Highway 520-Montlake interchange, Peer said.

Thousands driving to UW must detour via I-5 to the Northeast 45th Street interchange, or snake through Capitol Hill and Eastlake to cross the University Bridge. Sound Transit light rail operates from downtown, but weekend trains arrive only twice an hour, because of COVID-19 reductions.

Besides the Montlake work, a succession of overnight ramp and lane shutdowns continue across the region. The offramp from eastbound I-90 to northbound Bellevue Way Southeast is scheduled to close from 7 a.m. Saturday until 9 p.m. Sunday to make room for Sound Transit construction.