Two month southbound I-5 around-the-clock lane closure in Woodland begins July 15

Travelers may see over 70-minute delays approaching North Fork Lewis River Bridge until mid-September

WOODLAND – Travelers who use the southbound Interstate 5 North Fork Lewis River Bridge in Woodland will need to plan for significant travel delays.

Beginning the week of Monday, July 15, Washington State Department of Transportation contractor, M.J. Hughes Construction, will begin setting up a work zone to address bridge deck repairs across the North Fork Lewis River Bridge. Crews will reduce southbound I-5 from three lanes to two.

The around-the-clock lane closure reduces the overall timeline and cost, increases quality, and protects crews and the traveling public from work zone collisions.

What to expect

  • Beginning Monday, July 15, travelers will see nighttime single and double lane closures to install signs.
  • Beginning Monday, July 22, travelers will see narrowed lanes and shoulders in the work zone.
  • The speed limit on southbound I-5 will be reduced from 70 mph to 60 mph through the work zone and to 45 mph along the bridge.
  • Possible additional double lane closures during nighttime hours.
  • Trucks are reminded to check the height of their loads and to move to the inside lane when crossing the bridge.

We need help from travelers

Delays and backups will vary depending on the time and day of the week. Traffic data shows that Friday afternoons are the worst days to travel, with delays of up to 70 minutes or longer, and backups extending beyond ten miles on southbound I-5 approaching the work zone.

Drivers will want to consider rescheduling non-essential trips during peak travel hours.

Travelers are asked to slow down, pay attention, and look for changes in the traffic pattern while in the work zone. The Smart Work Zone System will analyze roadway conditions to give travelers real-time traffic information on reader board signs which will be placed at one-mile intervals leading up to the work zone. Drivers should follow the messages which will direct them to “zipper merge” using the full length of the travel lanes and merging just before the lane ends.

When work is complete, the current commercial vehicle weight restriction will be lifted, and freight truck traffic will no longer need to shift to the center lane to cross the bridge.

This $17 million contract repairs the bridge decks along both the northbound and southbound I-5 North Fork Lewis River Bridges and is scheduled for completion in fall 2024.

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