Skip Top Navigation

New I-90 HOV lane opening, express lanes permanently closing weekend of June 3, 2017

The I-90 express lanes are scheduled to permanently close the weekend of June 3 to allow construction of Sound Transit's East Link light rail extension. New mainline HOV lanes between Mercer Island and Seattle will open when the express lanes close.

You can expect a period of adjustment when the express lanes close. This is a big change for everyone that uses I-90 across Lake Washington. It could take months for traffic to settle into its new routine.

What does this mean for those who use I-90 across Lake Washington?

 
Bus riders
There are no changes for bus riders traveling to and from the Eastside via I-90.

The I-90/Rainier Avenue Freeway Station will continue to operate until September 2018 when Sound Transit begins construction on the Judkins Park Light Rail Station. When the I-90/Rainier Avenue Freeway Station closes buses will use Fourth Avenue South and Rainier Ave South to travel between downtown Seattle and I-90.
 
Carpools and vanpools 
Carpools and vanpools traveling on I-90 can use the new mainline HOV lanes. The express lanes ramp at Fifth Avenue South in Seattle will become bus only. 
 
Carpools and vanpools traveling between Mercer Island and Seattle
Carpools and vanpools traveling between Mercer Island and Seattle can use the new mainline HOV lanes. Drivers heading from Mercer Island to Seattle can get on westbound I-90 at Island Crest Way. Later this summer, carpools and vanpools heading from Seattle to Mercer Island will be able to exit from the eastbound I-90 HOV lane directly to Island Crest Way.
 
I-90 Trail users
There are no changes to the I-90 Trail.
 
Single occupant vehicles 
There will continue to be three general purpose lanes for single occupant vehicles traveling on I-90.
 
Single occupant vehicles traveling between Mercer Island and Seattle
All traffic to and from Mercer Island will use the I-90 mainline. Single occupant vehicles will no longer have access to westbound I-90 at Island Crest Way. Drivers will need to use 76th Ave SE, East Mercer Way or West Mercer Way to access westbound I-90.