I-5 in Seattle to have three major closures beginning Friday, July 22

Plan for full southbound closure under convention center Friday night, northbound lane reduction Saturday night, weekend-long expansion joint work

SEATTLE – It’s going to be a busy weekend of work on Interstate 5 in Seattle, which means people who rely on the region’s busiest freeway will need to plan ahead, particularly at night.

The Washington State Department of Transportation plans three separate closures for construction and maintenance beginning Friday night, July 22. The closures include:

  • 7:30 p.m. Friday, July 22, to 5 a.m. Monday, July 25: Southbound I-5 will be reduced to two lanes with all traffic going through the collector/distributor.
  • 11 p.m. Friday, July 22, to 6 a.m. Saturday, July 23: Southbound I-5 will be closed between Stewart and Spring streets. A signed detour will be in place.
  • 11 p.m. Saturday, July 23 to 7 a.m. Sunday, July 24: Two right lanes of northbound I-5 will be closed from the State Route 520 exit to Northeast 45th Street for bridge maintenance.

The multiple closures are necessary, said WSDOT Traffic Engineer Mike Swires, because of the amount of work the agency has this year and in the future.

"Because so much of our work is weather dependent, we need to get as much work done as possible during the summer," Swires said. "In the coming years, we will have several major projects at once on I-5, I-405 and I-90, among other highways. Like this weekend, some of the closures needed by these projects will overlap."

Revive I-5 weekend-long lane reductions

Beginning about 7:30 p.m. Friday, contractor crews working for WSDOT will begin shifting all traffic to the right side and through the collector/distributor. All ramps in the collector/distributor will be open except those from I-90 to southbound I-5. However, those I-90 ramps will open for two hours after the Sounders and Mariners games. All lanes will reopen by 5 a.m. Monday.

The express lanes will only be open northbound throughout the weekend because the southbound merge is located in the closed section of the I-5 mainline.

During the lane reductions the contractor crews will replace several expansion joints.

Friday night full southbound closure

Later Friday night, WSDOT maintenance crews will piggyback on the Revive I-5 lane closures. At 11 p.m. crews will close all lanes of southbound I-5 to work underneath the Seattle Convention Center. The full southbound closure is necessary to allow crews to test the fire suppression system and perform maintenance. All southbound traffic will exit at Stewart Street. A signed detour will be in place. At 6 a.m. Saturday, two southbound lanes will reopen with traffic using the collector/distributor for the remainder of the weekend.

Northbound overnight lane reductions

Late Saturday night, WSDOT crews will close two lanes of northbound I-5 from the SR 520 off-ramp to Northeast 45th Street in the University District. Crews will perform bridge deck repair work on the Ship Canal Bridge during the closure. All lanes will reopen by 7 a.m. Sunday.

During these closures, people who travel I-5 will need to plan ahead:

  • Allow extra travel time.
  • Consider using light rail or buses.
  • Use alternative routes like I-405 or SR 99.

People who are traveling can get real-time traffic information on mobile phones with the WSDOT traffic app and by following the WSDOT traffic Twitter feed.

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