Chinese President Xi Jinping departs Washington state Thursday for the other Washington, where tougher discussions on cybersecurity, intellectual property protections and human rights await.
Xi will leave the region sometime Thursday morning, again from Paine Field. Northbound I-5 and SR 526 will likely be shut down for the motorcade from Seattle.
Traffic in the Puget Sound region was snarled throughout the day Wednesday as Xi traveled between Seattle, Everett, Redmond and Tacoma.
Xi visited the Everett Boeing plant in the morning, forcing police and Secret Service to shut down Interstate 5 and State Route 526 during his journey to and from the plant. He returned to Seattle for lunch at The Westin.
Traffic backed up for miles as police blocked off the freeways and ramps.
Xi then headed headed to Microsoft in Redmond and from there went on to Lincoln High School in Tacoma. For security reasons, his exact route wasn't disclosed until the last minute.
He will leave the region sometime Thursday morning, again from Paine Field. Northbound I-5 and SR 526 will likely be shut down for the motorcade from Seattle.
Because Xi is a head of state, he is receiving Secret Service protection similar to what a U.S. president would receive. That means a police-escorted motorcade resulting in traffic stops and slowdowns that could affect more than just one highway.
- Download the Seattle Traffic App. We'll send you an alert anytime Xi's motorcade hits the road. You can also get flow maps and drive times.
- Follow KING 5 Traffic reporter Tracy Taylor on Twitter @KING5TracyT
- Bookmark the KING5.com Traffic page
Check transit delays
Public transit will also be affected both regionally and in Seattle. The downtown Seattle transit tunnel is expected to remain open.
The city of Seattle said it is working with local and federal agencies, as well as with Secret Service, to coordinate Xi's visit.
Restricted access remains in effect in downtown Seattle from Olive Street to Lenora Street and Fourth Avenue to Seventh Avenue.
The Seattle Streetcar station at McGraw Square is also closed.
WSDOT and SDOT will have additional response teams on standby to clear out collisions or stalls faster. SDOT will also be working on changing signal patterns and is asking construction sites to keep clear of the streets as best they can.