Two nights of single-lane traffic on I-5 in Tukwila; southbound on Friday Feb. 23; northbound Saturday

Staggered reductions for emergency panel replacements address most critical areas; additional work planned during two weekends in March

TUKWILA – Both directions of Interstate 5 near Southcenter will be reduced to one lane from late evening to midday the following day this weekend in staggered emergency work to replace broken concrete panels. The southbound I-5 lane reduction will occur Friday night through Saturday morning; the northbound work will take place Saturday night to Sunday afternoon.

Lane reduction details

This work will be staggered so that only one direction of the freeway will have reduced lanes at a time.

  • Southbound: Contractor crews working for the Washington State Department of Transportation will begin closing lanes on southbound I-5 at 9 p.m. Friday, Feb. 23. By 10 p.m. the southbound freeway will be reduced from five lanes to one lane. All southbound lanes are expected to reopen by 6 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 24.
  • Northbound: After the southbound work is complete, northbound I-5 will begin reducing to one lane starting at 9 p.m. Saturday; all northbound lanes will reopen by 7 a.m. Sunday, Feb. 25.

The panels were damaged following heavy rains in December 2023. The rain loosened the soil to the point where the panels began moving slightly. Replacing the panels now will eliminate the possibility of further movement, which could require an unscheduled emergency repair.

“We understand this is short notice for this concrete repair and it will be an inconvenience for people who travel through this area,” said WSDOT Northwest Region Engineering Manager Steve Strand. “This is a 55-year-old section of freeway and we will continue to maintain segments of I-5 as best we can until we are funded for more substantial preservation projects.”

Congestion is expected during this work and travelers may want to delay discretionary trips or allow extra time, particularly if going to SeaTac International Airport. Travelers also can use alternate routes or alter travel until later in the day after the roadways reopen. WSDOT thanks travelers in advance for their patience as this repair work is completed.

These closures are the first of three weekends and multiple weeknights of work. After replacing the panels that are most in need Feb. 24 and 25, crews plan similar closures March 1-2 and 8-9 to replace high priority deteriorating panels.  

Real-time travel information is available from the WSDOT mobile app, the WSDOT Travel Center Map or by signing up for WSDOT's email updates.

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Even one life lost is too many.

Fatal work zone crashes doubled in 2023 - Washington had 10 fatal work zone crashes on state roads.

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95% of people hurt in work zones are drivers, their passengers or passing pedestrians, not just our road crews.