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Thursday, June 16, 2011
Dave Chesson, WSDOT Communications, 360-757-5970 (Burlington)
Jay Drye, WSDOT Engineering Manager, 360-757-5993 (Burlington)
Dina Swires, WSDOT Traffic Engineer, 206-276-5763 (Shoreline)
Five-day closure lets crews finish time-sensitive bridge, pavement repairs
BURLINGTON – Northbound Interstate 5 will be down to one lane for 87 hours straight next week while crews complete complex road and bridge repairs north of Burlington. Drivers should expect lengthy delays during the afternoon commute and should consider alternate routes or alternate commute times.
The Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) will reduce 12 miles of northbound I-5 between the Chuckanut Drive and Nulle Road interchanges to one lane starting at 7 p.m. Monday, June 20. All lanes will reopen by 10 a.m. Friday, June 24. The closures and work are heavily weather dependent: Crews could cancel work as late as noon Monday if rain is forecast.
“Delays are going to be the worst during the afternoon peak commute,” said Traffic Engineer Dina Swires. “The afternoon backups and delays could be an hour or more if people don’t find alternate routes or alter their travel times.”
During the 87-hour closure, crews will rip out two concrete bridge approaches, repair bridge decks, replace roadway concrete panels and tie panels together with dowel bars. The complex work will require extra manpower, and drivers can expect to see anywhere from 50 to 75 workers on-site during each 12-hour shift.
Drivers can find a travel graph showing the best and worst times to travel on the project website, as well as a map showing potential alternate routes. The longest delays are expected between 2 and 6 p.m. Approximately 40,000 commuters, visitors and freight haulers use this stretch of I-5 daily.
This is the first of two around-the-clock, week-long lane closures scheduled for back-to-back weeks. The second closure is tentatively planned for Monday, June 27, provided the weather cooperates.
For the next several months, I-5 will be rougher than normal and drivers, especially motorcyclists, need to use caution.
Drivers should watch for electronic signs that will display traffic information ahead of the construction zone. Drivers can also find more information about I-5 construction by tuning in to the highway advisory radio in Burlington (1500AM) or signing up for email updates.
Pictures of our progress will be available on Flickr www.flickr.com/photos/wsdot/sets/72157626522610337/with/5687655772. For more information about this $20 million construction project, visit the project website at www.wsdot.wa.gov/Projects/I5/PavingJoeToNulle.
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