Drivers who take Interstate 5 between Kent and Seattle overnight and on weekends should prepare for major construction as WSDOT repaves and repairs the freeway. The project begins Monday and will last nearly three years.
WSDOT says the freeway is seeing its age after some 50 years of vehicles driving on it, with expansion joints, concrete panels, and sections of the highway wearing out.
Most of the work will be at night, but about 10 weekends will also be affected, with traffic reduced to two lanes. Drivers need to be ready for multiple lane closures.
There are two projects. The first begins Monday as contractor crews will restore northbound I-5 between South 260th Street in Kent and the Duwamish River Bridge in Tukwila. It will last into late 2018. Among the goals:
- Replace eight expansion joints – four at Interurban Avenue and four on the Duwamish River Bridge
- Repave four miles of all lanes between South 216th Street in SeaTac and South 178th Street in Tukwila
- Replace about 440 broken concrete panels
- Grind concrete sections to eliminate ruts
The other project is on northbound I-5 from Martin Luther King Jr. Way to Northeast Ravenna Boulevard contractors will:
- Replace 37 expansion joints
- Replace all concrete panels from near the West Seattle
- Bridge to near the express lanes ramp, except for bridges
- Replace hundreds of broken concrete panels
- Grind concrete sections to remove ruts
- Replace four bridge approach slabs on three bridges
- Repave 24 on- and off-ramps
WSDOT says work on this project will take place at night in 2018, but in 2018 to 2019, contractors will work at night and could require up to 16 weekends of northbound I-5 lane closures.