WSDOT has put out a traffic advisory for motorists using I-5 this weekend as crews work on a $2.8 million project to replace the left half of ten aging expansion joints on the southbound Interstate 5 collector-distributor to Interstate 90. That area will be reduced to one lane through the weekend and the James and Spring Streets on-ramps to the collector-distributor will also be closed.
More information from WSDOT:
The lanes and ramps will close by 10 p.m. Friday, Feb. 21 and remain closed until 5 a.m. Monday, Feb. 24. Drivers will still be able to exit southbound I-5 to eastbound I-90. The collector-distributor, which runs parallel to I-5 just south of the Washington State Convention Center, provides southbound access to I-90, Dearborn Street, Airport Way and Fourth Avenue South. All of those exits will remain open.
What we saw last weekend
Although the closure is not on the main southbound lanes of I-5, through-traffic will experience congestion in downtown Seattle as exiting drivers merge into one lane on the collector-distributor. During Feb. 16-18 weekend work on I-5, southbound traffic backed up to Northgate and drivers experienced delays of up to 90 minutes. To prevent similar backups commuters are urged to:
· Use alternate routes such as State Route 99 or I-405 for southbound travel.
· Take earlier downtown exits.
· Carpool or use transit
· Reschedule or delay discretionary trips
· Call 5-1-1 for traffic updates
· Know before you go by checking the Seattle area traffic map
· Check travel alerts before heading out the door
· Get traveler information on your mobile device
· Follow WSDOT on Twitter: @wsdot_traffic
The I-5 express lanes will operate southbound from 8 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. each day.
This is the fourth of nine weekend closures to replace 26 deteriorating expansion joints on elevated sections of I-5. After this weekend’s work is complete, the next closure is scheduled for March 8-9 on the northbound collector-distributor.
Expansion joints help maintain a smooth driving surface by allowing the highway to expand and contract with changing weather. Replacing old expansion joints not only helps preserve I-5 well into the future, it also saves drivers hours of unexpected delays caused by emergency highway repairs.
This $2.8 million project will wrap up in spring 2014.