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Angels in the air mean traffic changes on the ground between Seattle and Bellevue

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Date:  Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Contact: Kris Olsen, WSDOT Communications, 206-440-4475 (Shoreline)
Melissa Jurcan, Seafair, 206-728-0123, extension 109 (Seattle)

I-90 traffic will detour, SR 520 will remain open to vehicles

SEATTLE –As Seafair heads into full swing with the U.S. Navy Blue Angels air shows, traffic from the Interstate 90 floating bridges will have to take alternate routes daily from Thursday, Aug. 2, to Sunday, Aug. 5, while the bridges are closed. Drivers should expect heavy traffic and delays in the greater Seattle and Bellevue areas.

The Washington State Department of Transportation will close I-90 from Interstate 5 in Seattle to Island Crest Way on Mercer Island during Blue Angels’ practice flights and performances. Certain I-90 and I-5 ramps will also close 30 minutes to one hour before flight times. Drivers who need to cross Lake Washington should plan to do so at least one hour before the closures or use an alternate route, such as Interstate 405 or State Route 522.

This is the current closure schedule for I-90:

  • Thursday, Aug. 2: 9:45 a.m. to noon, and 1:15 to 2:30 p.m., (practice)
  • Friday, Aug. 3: 12:45 to 2:40 p.m., (practice)
  • Saturday, Aug. 4: 12:45 to 2:40 p.m., (full show)
  • Sunday, Aug. 5: 12:45 to 2:40 p.m., (full show)

Ramp closures:

  • Northbound I-5 to eastbound I-90 ramp (closed up to 30 minutes prior to show or practice)
  • Southbound I-5 to eastbound I-90 ramp (closed up to 30 minutes prior to show or practice)
  • Southbound and northbound Rainier Avenue ramps (closed up to 30 minutes prior to show or practice)
  • 76th Ave. to westbound I-90 (closed up to 30 minutes prior to show or practice)
  • Island Crest Way to westbound I-90 (closed up to 30 minutes prior to show or practice)
  • Eastbound I-90 to West Mercer Way (closed up to 30 minutes prior to show or practice)
  • East Mercer Way to westbound I-90 (closed up one hour prior to show or practice)
  • West Mercer Way to westbound I-90 (up to one hour prior to show or practice)

The closures apply to all vehicles, bicycles and pedestrians. The closures are required by the Federal Aviation Administration to ensure safety and minimize distractions for drivers, cyclists and pedestrians, as well as for the Blue Angels pilots. For details on closures and FAA regulations visit the Seafair closures page.

SR 520 bridge operations
During the I-90 closure, the SR 520 floating bridge will still be open to traffic and tolls will be collected according to the rate schedule. Infrequent users of the SR 520 bridge may want to consider setting up a short-term Good To Go! account for Seafair weekend.

Additionally, the SR 520 drawspan will not open for marine traffic during the following times:

  • Thursday, Aug. 2, from 6:30 a.m. to 7 p.m.
  • Friday, Aug. 3, from 12:30 to 7 p.m.
  • Saturday, Aug. 4, and Sunday, Aug. 5, from 12:30 to 3:30 p.m.

Drawspan openings should also be infrequent now through Seafair weekend. The construction equipment for the new SR 520 bridge has been moved from the east navigational channel. Temporarily reopening this channel allows boats less than 65 feet tall to pass under the east highrise rather than request a drawspan opening. Vessels less than 45 feet tall may also use the west navigation channel at any time. Visit the SR 520 drawspan page for information about the bridge opening schedule and sign up for text and email alerts to get advance warning of drawspan openings.

Check the What’s Happening Now page for up-to-date information on special events and important construction updates in your area. Drivers can also tap into resources such as @wsdot_traffic on Twitter, the Seattle traffic page and travel alerts.

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