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Big Construction Weekend on I-5 from Arlington to the Pierce County Line

Date:  Thursday, April 28, 2005

Contact:

Greg Phipps, Public Information Officer,  (206) 440-4702 (Seattle)
24-Hour On-Call, Pager,  (206) 994-6336 (Seattle)

SEATTLE -  Crews will be doing construction work in multiple locations on and near Interstate 5 this weekend from Arlington to the Pierce County line as highway construction season kicks into high gear.  Traffic congestion will be unavoidable given the freeway lane and ramp closures required to complete this work. 

"We need help from drivers to keep traffic moving.  Please plan ahead, use alternate routes and the express lanes, reschedule trips, carpool or ride the bus," said WSDOT Regional Administrator Lorena Eng. "Without help from drivers, we could have 15-mile backups on southbound I-5 through Seattle and six-mile backups on southbound I-5 through Federal Way."  Drivers can expect construction at:

I-5 James to Olive, downtown Seattle

construction progress
project Web page

Crews are replacing damaged and worn pavement on the right lanes of southbound I-5 from Union to Spring Street and on the southbound Columbia/James exit.

Closures:  At 10 p.m. Friday, April 29, crews will close three southbound lanes of I-5 and the southbound I-5 exits to Union, and Columbia/James streets and the Howell Street on-ramp to southbound I-5.  The lanes and ramps will remain closed all weekend.  All lanes and ramps are expected to reopen by 5 a.m. Monday, May 2, though we may keep one of two lanes on the Columbia/James Street ramp closed until 5 a.m. Tuesday, May 3.

Please note:  this work requires reasonably dry weather.  We will review weather forecasts tomorrow midday and reschedule construction, and lane and ramp closures if necessary.

Traffic:  One lane of mainline southbound I-5 will remain open to traffic.  To help keep traffic moving the I-5 express lanes will remain open in the southbound direction at all times.  Without cooperation from drivers, southbound I-5 traffic could back up 14 to 15 miles, as far as 44th Avenue W. in Lynnwood.  With the express lanes operating southbound the entire weekend, northbound I-5 traffic could back up 5 miles, to Boeing Field.

Alternate routes:  I-405, State Route 99 (Aurora Avenue)

I-5 S. 320th to the King/Pierce County line HOV lanes, Federal Way

construction progress
project Web page

Crews are removing and replacing 52 broken and damaged concrete panels on southbound I-5 from South 336th Street to the King/Pierce County Line.  This is a part of our project to add high occupancy vehicle lanes to both directions of I-5 from S. 320th Street to the King/Pierce County line.

Closures:  At 11 p.m. Friday, April 29, crews will close three lanes of southbound I-5 from S. 336th Street (just north of SR 18) to the King/Pierce County Line.  Two of these lanes will remain closed around the clock and one lane will reopen to traffic during the day, from 7 a.m. until 11 p.m., Saturday and Sunday.  All lanes will reopen by 5 a.m. Monday, May 2.

Traffic:  At night, one lane of southbound I-5 will remain open to traffic.  During the day two lanes will remain open to traffic.  Without cooperation from drivers, southbound I-5 traffic could back up six miles, as far as SR 516, Kent Des Moines Road.

Alternate routes:  SR 167

I-5 Smokey Point bridge replacement, 172nd Street NE (SR 531), Arlington

construction progress
project Web page

Crews are replacing a two-lane bridge across I-5 with a six-lane bridge.  Crews are switching traffic from the old bridge to the recently completed north half of the new bridge by 5 a.m., Friday, April 29.  They will demolish the east half of the old bridge Saturday night.

Closures:  Beginning at 10:30 p.m. Saturday, April 30, crews will close all lanes of northbound I-5 at exit 206 in Smokey Point.  Northbound I-5 will be completely closed to traffic until crews reopen the lanes, by 7:30 a.m. Sunday, May 1.

Traffic:  All northbound I-5 traffic will be detoured up the 172nd Street NE off-ramp and back down the 172nd Street NE on-ramp.  Slow-downs are expected while northbound I-5 is closed overnight Saturday.  Traffic on I-5 approaching the ramp will slow, but significant backups are not expected because overnight traffic volumes are low.  Drivers may experience backups and delays on 172nd Street.   
 
Last weekend’s lane and ramp closures on I-5 through downtown Seattle went smoothly thanks largely to driver cooperation.  WSDOT thanks drivers for their patience, using alternate routes, sharing the ride, and rescheduling trips. 
 
To help keep traffic moving during construction this weekend, we will:

  • Open the I-5 express lanes southbound the entire weekend and keep them open to traffic at all times.
  • Provide driver information on variable message signs, highway advisory radio and via our toll-free 5-1-1 traveler information phone line.
  • Provide extra Incident Response Teams and tow trucks to clear roads, help drivers and keep traffic moving.

We ask drivers to help during construction by:

  • planning before they go
  • checking real-time traffic information by calling 5-1-1 or visiting our Web site at www.wsdot.wa.gov/traffic/seattle
  • taking alternate routes where available
  • carpooling
  • riding the bus
  • allowing extra time
  • rescheduling trips

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