Broch Bender, WSDOT communications, 206-440-4699 (Shoreline)
SEATTLE – Drivers adjusted to 11 weekend closures to replace 31 aging expansion joints on the Interstate-5/West Seattle Bridge interchange and mainline I-5 in South Seattle. The project is now complete; however the Washington State Department of Transportation sees more expansion joint repair work on the horizon this summer and in early 2014 in the vicinity of downtown Seattle.
“Fifty years of heavy truck, bus and vehicle traffic have taken a toll on the expansion joints approaching downtown,” said WSDOT project engineer Aleta Borschowa. “Our contractor did a great job replacing the first series of expansion joints at the I-5/West Seattle Bridge interchange, and we’re confident they will follow suit with this next set of work ahead of us this summer.”
This summer crews return to replace expansion joints and replace the decks on ramps connecting Corson Avenue South to I-5 and the northbound I-5 off-ramp to West Seattle and South Spokane Street. In addition, workers also will replace four highway joints spanning northbound I-5 just north of East Mercer Street.
To help drivers cope with construction closures, WSDOT engineers will work with the City of Seattle to coordinate construction work on approved detour routes.
Right after the start of the new year, crews will kick off the third in the series of expansion joint replacement projects on mainline I-5 near the I-90 interchange.
Expansion joints help maintain a smooth driving surface by allowing the highway to expand and contract with changing weather. The joints on this, the state’s most heavily used section of I-5, have been repaired repeatedly. To ensure their integrity – and traffic safety – they must now be replaced.
Replacing worn-out joints on the bridges that connect West Seattle and South Spokane Street to I-5 marks the latest in a series of expansion joint replacement projects, including northbound I-5 in 2007 (14-day closure for 34 joints) and I-90 floating bridge in 2009 (two-week closure for two extra-large joints).