It’s technically spring in Seattle, despite all signs suggesting otherwise, which means the official start of boating season is this weekend. That means drivers should avoid Montlake on Saturday afternoon as the bridge will be closed for the annual parade of vessels through the Montlake Cut.
The closure will begin at noon and end about 4 p.m. Both eastbound and westbound exits from Highway 520 onto Montlake Boulevard will be closed as well.
It’s the first time since 2019 that the Seattle Yacht Club has hosted a real-life opening to the boating season. The festivity was canceled in 2020 and held virtually in 2021, both because of COVID-19.
Boat-related events will span most of the day Saturday, with several rounds of rowing races through the Cut in the morning, during which the bridge will remain open to traffic.
The bridge will then close around noon for the boat parade, which is scheduled to last until 2:30 p.m. Normal maritime traffic will resume around 3 p.m., before the Montlake Bridge is reopened around 4 p.m.
Weather for the event is looking a bit bleak, with a 100% chance of rain in the forecast and a high of just 54 degrees. That may not be great for those on the water but it does have one side benefit for drivers: Lane closures scheduled for southbound Interstate 5 this weekend have been postponed. Construction crews need dry weather to pour and cure concrete, which is a lot to ask of Mother Nature in the Northwest these days.
The Montlake Bridge will close again for a weekend either later this month or in early June, depending on weather, so crews can finish paving work begun last year.