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Monday, June 03, 2013
Leon Winger, WSDOT project engineer, 360-905-1500 (Vancouver)
Heidi Sause, WSDOT communications, 360-905-2057 (Vancouver)
Drivers asked to plan ahead to avoid backups and delays
VANCOUVER – Installation of a dozen concrete girders will shut down Interstate 5 and reroute thousands of drivers to Interstate 205 this weekend. The Washington State Department of Transportation advises drivers to avoid travel through the area or expect detours and delays.
WSDOT contractor crews building a new interchange at Northeast 139th Street will close both directions of I-5 just south of the I-5/I-205 junction in Salmon Creek at 11 p.m. Friday, June 7. All lanes on the interstate will remain closed through the weekend, reopening by 5 a.m. Monday, June 10.
The weekend-long closure has the potential to create miles of traffic backups and delays throughout Clark County. The severity of congestion on other highways and local roads depends heavily on drivers’ decisions.
“If everyone hits the road like normal, then traffic in Clark County will grind to a halt,” said WSDOT project engineer Leon Winger. “We really need drivers to plan ahead. Avoid travel if possible. If you need to drive, familiarize yourself with the detour routes and plan for extra time when heading to flights, appointments and other events.”
Construction work will be concentrated in Salmon Creek, but the closures will extend to a larger section of the I-5 corridor next weekend. In order to keep traffic moving and avoid dumping thousands of interstate drivers onto local roads, WSDOT will close the interstate five miles south of the project and reroute traffic to State Route 500. Ramps at five I-5 interchanges will also be closed.
Interstate closure details
- Southbound I-5: Closed between I-205 and Northeast 134th Street 11 p.m. Friday, June 7, to 5 a.m. Monday, June 10.
- Northbound I-5: Closed between SR 500 and I-205 11 p.m. Friday, June 7, to 5 a.m. Monday, June 10.
Ramp closure details
The following interchange ramps will be closed 10 p.m. Friday, June 7, to 5 a.m. Monday, June 10.
- East 39th Street: Northbound I-5 on- and off-ramps
- Northeast Highway 99/Main Street: Northbound I-5 on- and off-ramps
- Northeast 78th Street : Northbound I-5 on- and off-ramps
- Northeast 99th Street : Northbound I-5 on- and off-ramps
- Northeast 134th Street: Southbound I-205 off-ramp closed during peak traffic hours
- Through traffic: Use I-205 via State Route 14 or Oregon’s Interstate 84
- Local traffic: Use I-205 via State Route 500
During the closure, crane operators will lift a dozen 165-foot-long girders into place above I-5. Each girder weighs nearly 175,000 pounds and will take approximately three hours to install.
WSDOT has a variety of resources to help drivers plan ahead and stay informed during the closure, including detour maps, email updates, a live project camera and Vancouver-based Twitter account.
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