SEATTLE - The Easter weekend could turn into a challenging commute on northbound Interstate 5.
Washington Department of Transportation is shutting down three out of five lanes to replace aging expansion joints on Northbound I-5 from South Albro Street to the West Seattle Bridge and I-5 Interchange.
The closure is expected to bring significant delays for drivers.
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"We're going take 3 out of the 5 lanes during the daytime and that's going to squeeze 60 percent of traffic somewhere else and we're really going to need drivers to take alternate routes because it's going to get packed through there,” said Bart Treece, WSDOT spokesperson.
The lanes will be closed from 8 p.m. on Friday to 5 a.m. on Monday. Crews may close an additional lane on Saturday and Monday to set up and take down concrete barriers.
“This stretch of I-5 approaching downtown Seattle is very busy seven days a week, including weekends,” said WSDOT regional traffic manager Mark Leth. “Typically there are almost 110,000 vehicles a day on weekends in this area. We need drivers help to reduce that number in half.”
- Northbound Interstate 405 to westbound Interstate 90
- Northbound State Route 599 to State Route 99
WSDOT warns Interstate 405 could also see some extra congestion from traffic overflow. Highway 99 or 4th Avenue South are good alternatives.
The I-90 express lanes will be open westbound all weekend to help ease congestion.
The section of I-5 that curves through South Seattle was constructed in 1965 and decades of constant traffic has weakend the steel expansion joints connecting the concrete sections of this part of the freeway.
Additional closures will take place April 5th through 8th to complete the upgrades.