SEATTLE - Work on several major roadways is expected to have a ripple effect for traffic on both sides of Lake Washington this weekend.
In Seattle, contractor crews working for the Washington State Department of Transportation will close all but a single lane on the northbound Interstate 5 collector-distributor to replace worn and aging expansion joints from Friday, March 21 until Monday morning, March 24. Also, the State Route 99 Alaskan Way Viaduct will be closed for additional inspection work, Saturday, March 22.
The Seattle Department of Transportation will have a nighttime closure on southbound SR 99 as well as daytime closures of the Mercer Street ramps to I-5 as part of the Mercer Corridor Project.
Eastside drivers will need to use alternate exits on I-405 to reach downtown Bellevue as the southbound off-ramp to Northeast Eighth Street will be closed all weekend for drainage and barrier work.
"We don't usually see this much roadwork so early in the year, but this will help us preserve our aging highways and it just can't wait," said WSDOT Regional Administrator Lorena Eng. "Drivers play an important role in keeping traffic moving, and can help the freeway system out by carpooling, taking transit or delaying discretionary trips."
Weekend closure details:
10 p.m. Friday, March 21 until 5 a.m. Monday, March 24
· The northbound I-5 collector-distributor will be reduced to a single lane between I-90 and Madison Street for bridge expansion joint replacement.
· Drivers on northbound I-5 will not be able to connect with ramps to James and Madison Streets, but can still use the South Dearborn Street off-ramp.
· The South Dearborn Street on-ramp to northbound I-5 will be closed.
· The northbound I-5 on-ramp from Edgar Martinez Drive South will be closed.
· The ramp from westbound I-90 to northbound I-5 will be open, but severe backups are expected.
· The northbound mainline lanes will not be affected other than higher than normal traffic volumes are expected.
8 a.m. until 6 p.m. Saturday, March 22 and Sunday, March 23
· The Mercer Street on-ramps to north and southbound I-5 will be closed while crews working for the City of Seattle install traffic detection equipment.
SR 99 Closures
11 p.m. Friday, March 21 until 10 a.m. Saturday, March 22
· All southbound lanes of SR 99 will be closed between Valley and Thomas Streets for girder settings as part of the City of Seattle's Mercer Corridor project.
4:30 a.m. until 7 p.m. Saturday, March 22
· All lanes of the Alaskan Way Viaduct will be closed between South Spokane Street and the Battery Street Tunnel for bridge inspection.
11 p.m. Friday, March 21 to 4 a.m. Monday, March 24
· The southbound I-405 off-ramp to Northeast Eighth Street will close for drainage and barrier work.
· A single lane of southbound I-405 between SR 520 and Northeast Sixth Street adjacent to the ramp will also close.
· Southbound drivers should use Northeast Fourth Street to reach downtown Bellevue.
· Northbound drivers should use Southeast Eighth Street or Northeast Eighth Street to reach downtown Bellevue because of an expected increase in traffic on Northeast Fourth Street.
Keeping traffic moving
WSDOT is doing everything possible to help keep traffic moving including:
· Adjusting the I-90 express lanes to allow westbound traffic to avoid construction delays.
· Incident Response Teams will patrol I-5 to help clear stalled vehicles and minor crashes.
· Alerting drivers of real-time roadway conditions suggest alternate routes with highway message signs.
WSDOT needs help from drivers to keep traffic moving
Drivers should plan ahead for construction and create a commuting strategy:
· Allow extra time to travel through the work zone.
· Ride transit, carpool or use other alternate forms of transportation.
· Travel early in the morning or later in the evening, or reschedule discretionary trips.
The work on I-5 is part of the $2.8 million Seattle Expansion Joint Replacement Project. Expansion joints help maintain a smooth driving surface by allowing a highway to expand and contract with changing weather. Not only does replacing old expansion joints help preserve I-5 well into the future, it also saves drivers hours of unexpected delays caused by emergency highway repairs.
The is the seventh of nine weekend closures to replace 26 bridge expansion joints on I-5 near the I-90 interchange.
The work on I-405 is part of the $334 million Bellevue to Lynnwood Widening and Express Toll Lanes project that will add a lane in each direction to help alleviate congestion.