Prepare for major road closures, increased traffic this weekend around the area

Washington State Department of Transportation - Contributed Art
Washington State Department of Transportation
— image credit: Contributed Art

The Washington State Department of Transportation is warning drivers about possible delays driving on major regional roadways this weekend.

Drivers should be prepared for major roadway closures tonight as crews will start a busy working weekend early. Late-night and early-morning drivers should expect some delays on northbound Interstate 5 near Olive Way, where traffic will be reduced to a single lane from 9 p.m. tonight until 5 a.m., Friday. All lanes will be open in time for the Friday morning commute.

Beginning Friday night, Sept. 13, work will close all lanes on the State Route 520 floating bridge, and northbound I-5 will be reduced to two lanes near Mercer Street. With several large special events scheduled, the Washington State Department of Transportation warns that drivers will face major delays and should be ready to add extra time to their trips, carpool or take transit in order to reach their destinations on time.

I-5 Seattle

  • Up to three right lanes of northbound I-5 between Olive Way and Lakeview Boulevard will be closed from 9 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 12, until 5 a.m. Friday, Sept. 13. The first lane will close at 9 p.m., the second lane at 11:30 p.m., and the third at midnight. At least one lane will remain open from midnight to 5 a.m. This work is necessary to prepare the area for the weekend closure.
  • The Cherry Street and Olive Way on-ramps to northbound I-5 will be closed from 9 p.m. until 5 a.m.; detours will be provided.

  • Beginning at 9 p.m. Friday, Sept. 13, until 4:30 a.m. Monday, Sept. 16, northbound I-5 will be reduced to two lanes between Olive Way and Lakeview Boulevard while contractor crews replace three worn and aging bridge expansion joints. On Friday and Sunday nights, I-5 will be reduced to a single lane from midnight to 4:30 a.m.
  • During the day, WSDOT maintenance crews will extend the two-lane closure to the north end of the Ship Canal Bridge for bridge deck repair work on Saturday and Sunday from 5:30 a.m. until 5:30 p.m.
  • To help with congestion through Seattle, the I-5 express lanes will be open to northbound traffic from 11:15 a.m. Friday until 5 a.m., Monday.

SR-520 floating bridge

  • All lanes of SR-520 will be closed between Montlake Boulevard and I-405 from 11 p.m., Friday, Sept. 13, until 9 a.m., Sunday, Sept. 15. During that time, contractor crews working on the Eastside Transit and HOV Project will shift the westbound traffic lane between 108th Avenue Northeast to Evergreen Point Road to create a new work zone, while other workers continue pouring concrete foundations for the new West Connection Bridge.
  • The I-90 express lanes will be westbound from 7 a.m. on Saturday, Sept. 14, until 2 p.m., Sunday, Sept. 15.

SR-99 Seattle

  • Northbound SR-99 will be reduced to a single lane across the Aurora Bridge from 5 to 11 a.m. on Saturday, Sept. 14, and Sunday, Sept. 15, for a routine bridge inspection.

Special events

With several special events this weekend, drivers should expect increased traffic and delays on major routes into Seattle. The Boats Afloat Show on South Lake Union and the St. Demetrios Greek Festival will attract thousands each day. Sporting events scheduled at CenturyLink Field have Seattle Sounders FC playing Real Salt Lake Friday at 7 p.m., and the Seattle Seahawks playing the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday at 5:30 p.m. Both games are expected to draw about 60,000 fans.

Drivers can plan ahead by checking travel times and traffic conditions on the Seattle traffic page for backups. The What’s Happening Now page, Twitter feed and mobile app are also reliable traffic-busting tools.

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