Express lanes schedule

I-5 Express Lanes in SeattleWSDOT uses the I-5 express lanes to assist the flow of traffic during busy travel times. These lanes are scheduled to move in the direction that will relieve the most congestion from the transportation system. We operate the lanes on a typical daily schedule that changes on the weekends and occasionally for major events.

No more last-minute lane changes

Crews added double white lines to the left lane of northbound I-5 about 1,700 feet prior to the northbound express lanes entrance Tuesday night, Nov. 6. This moved the decision point farther back eliminating last-minute lane changes which will improve safety and keep traffic moving smoothly. It is now illegal to move in or out of the left lane near the express lanes entrance.

I-5 Express Lanes Schedule

Monday-Friday

  • Southbound - 5 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.
  • Northbound - 11:15 a.m. to 11 p.m.
  • Closed: 11:00 p.m. - 5 a.m.

Saturday & Sunday

  • Southbound - 8 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
  • Northbound - 1:45 p.m. to 11 p.m.
  • Closed: 11:00 p.m. - 8 a.m.
  • View map of I-5 express lanes and ramps

Please note that the express lane times given are only for the mainline entrances at Northgate and Downtown Seattle. Other express lane entrances may close earlier than the posted times.

Special events schedule

  • Sunday, December 8th
    The I-5 Express lanes will run on a delayed opening schedule due to the Jingle Bell Run. They will open southbound at 10:45 a.m., close for reversal at 1:30 p.m., and open northbound at 1:45 p.m.
     
  • Wednesday, December 25th
    The I-5 Express lanes will run on their typical weekend schedule for the Christmas holiday. They will open southbound at 8:00 a.m., close for reversal at 1:30 p.m., and open northbound at 1:45 p.m.
     
  • Tuesday, December 31st through Wednesday, January 1st
    The I-5 Express lanes will remain open northbound overnight from 11:15 a.m. on December 31st until 7:30 a.m. on January 1st due to the New Year’s holiday. On January 1st, the lanes will close for reversal at 7:30 a.m. and run on their typical weekend schedule for the rest of the day: reopening southbound at 8:00 a.m., closing for reversal at 1:30 p.m., and opening northbound at 1:45 p.m.