Jamie Holter, WSDOT communications, 206-440-4698 (Shoreline)
SEATTLE – Starting Friday night, crews working for the Washington State Department of Transportation will close the ramp from southbound Interstate 5 to the West Seattle Bridge and the westbound Columbian Way ramp to the West Seattle Bridge. Detours are in place.
This is the first of 11 weekend-long ramp closures to replace 31 aging expansion joints on the I-5/West Seattle Interchange.
Drivers can prepare for this and the next 10 closures by checking the website in advance. The WSDOT website has detailed list of closed ramps and weekend dates as well as detour maps available to print or download.
Ramp closure details and detours
• The ramp from southbound Interstate 5 to the West Seattle Bridge and the ramp from westbound Columbian Way ramp to the West Seattle Bridge will close at 10 p.m. Friday, Jan. 4 and reopen at 5 a.m. Monday, Jan. 7.
• Southbound drivers can access the West Seattle Bridge by using the Forest Street exit and following the signed detour to First Avenue South. Drivers can also use State Route 99.
• Drivers from Beacon Hill can access the West Seattle Bridge from northbound I-5.
“Locals know this area and they have their own short cuts,” said Aleta Borschowa, WSDOT project engineer. “We expect West Seattle drivers to take Highway 99, First Avenue South and Fourth Avenue South to get around. Just remember that many drivers have that same plan, and it may be a little congested.”
To help drivers get through the construction closure, WSDOT engineers have worked with the city of Seattle to retime the signals and cancel construction work on approved detour routes. Truck traffic near the Port of Seattle is expected to be light.
During the week, these ramps carry more than 20,000 vehicles each day, but daily traffic volumes on this interchange drop by more than 50 percent during the weekend. Engineers scheduled the work on the weekend to take advantage of this light traffic.