If you work on the eastside on a graveyard shift and usually take I-90, you’ll want to look for an alternate route tomorrow night.
The state Department of Transportation just sent us a note that they’ll be closing the eastbound general purpose lanes and the ramps from Rainier tomorrow night between 11pm and 5am on Wednesday morning.
They’re also warning drivers to be prepared for further nighttime closures throughout next week.
It’s all part of a big project to install fancy new electronic signs that will ensmarten the highway.
Here’s their full message:
Drivers traveling on I-90 between Seattle and Bellevue may notice what drivers on I-5 and SR 520 have seen for several months – new sign bridges popping up. Over the next two weeks, crews will close I-90 between I-5 and I-405 overnight as they lift 17 sign bridges into place.
These new structures are the first visible part of Smarter Highways on I-90. The new traffic management system features a network of sensors and electronic signs that will provide drivers with information to move traffic more effectively.
“Drivers have probably noticed the new electronic signs on northbound I-5 in south Seattle that we’ll activate later this summer.” said Craig Stone, WSDOT Division Director. “This work is a good reminder that Smarter Highways is also coming to I-90 next spring.”
Drivers headed for east or westbound I-90 between 11:00 p.m. and 5 a.m. should be prepared for delays and detours on the following nights this week:
· Tuesday, May 18 – Crews will close eastbound I-90 between I-5 and I-405 and detour traffic onto the I-90 express lanes. They will also close the ramps to eastbound I-90 from northbound I-5, Rainier Avenue S., Island Crest Way, E. Mercer Way, Bellevue Way and the eastbound I-90 transit lane.
· Wednesday, May 19 – Crews will close westbound I-90 at SE 37th Street and detour traffic onto SE Eastgate Way, west on Richards Road and back to westbound I-90.
· Thursday, May 20 – Crews will close eastbound I-90 at Richards Road and detour traffic onto Richards Road, SE 36th Street and to 150th Avenue to return to eastbound I-90. They will also close the ramps to eastbound I-90 from north and southbound I-405, Bellevue Way and the 142nd Place SE HOV ramp.
Drivers should also plan ahead for overnight closures on segments of westbound I-90 between I-405 and I-5 next week, Monday, May 24 – Thursday, May 27.
Starting this summer, overhead electronic signs on northbound I-5 in south Seattle and on SR 520 between Seattle and Bellevue will alert drivers to reduce speeds or change lanes when there are collisions or backups on the road ahead. Crews will also activate the high-tech signs on I-90 between Seattle and Bellevue in spring 2011.
Washington is one of the first states to implement cutting-edge Smarter Highways technology that uses real-time traffic information to improve safety and reduce congestion.