In a new twist to ongoing Sodo roadwork, the Washington State Department of Transportation will keep all connections open between Interstate 90 and Interstate 5 this weekend to help drivers attending Seafair and sports events.
Contractors will rebuild and level seven expansion joint sections of southbound I-5. Only two lanes will flow through the Sodo work zone during this ninth of 15 planned construction weekends.
Lane reductions started Friday at 7:30 p.m. and run until 5 a.m. Monday, WSDOT says.
Drivers can travel very slowly on the mainline under the Seattle Convention Center through downtown, while the express lanes will stay on normal schedules, flipping from southbound to northbound at 1:45 p.m. both Saturday and Sunday.
The I-90 floating bridge will remain open all weekend, a change from years past when WSDOT temporarily blocked traffic while low-flying Navy jet pilots performed.
To keep the big I-90/I-5 junction open, WSDOT will crimp its downtown collector-distributor lanes on I-5, forcing southbound drivers either to make the left exit toward Bellevue onto I-90, or drop off using right exits near the stadiums.
That cutoff is needed to comply with federal safety standards for merge distance, spokesperson Tom Pearce explained. Cars arriving from I-90 will be immediately funneled left after the junction to get around workers on the right flank of southbound I-5. That means WSDOT couldn’t provide as much distance as usual, he said, for both the arriving I-90 drivers and the southbound I-5 collector-distributor lanes drivers to sort themselves out, where four lanes normally transition into two, and then one lane beyond the stadiums.
Drivers in downtown Seattle may enter southbound collector-distributor lanes from James Street onramps (then exit soon to I-90 or stadiums) but not from Spring Street. The South Forest Street mainline exit in Sodo will close.
Weekend events include the HomeStreet Bank Cup hydroplane races on Lake Washington; the Boeing Seafair Air Show featuring the U.S. Navy Blue Angels; four Seattle Mariners baseball games versus the Los Angeles Angels on Friday at 7:10 p.m., Saturday at 1:10 p.m. and 7:10 p.m., and Sunday at 1:10 p.m.; and a Seahawks training camp game at Lumen Field starting at 2:30 p.m. Saturday. A couple of miles north, the Seattle Storm host the Las Vegas Aces at noon Sunday at Climate Pledge Arena.
Sounder commuter trains will go to and from the Mariners game Sunday, while Sound Transit’s light-rail trains operate on a normal schedule, arriving every 10 minutes at all stops between Northgate, central Seattle, the airport and Angle Lake. Drivers can subscribe to WSDOT’s app and social-media feeds here for instant updates.