UPDATE: WSDOT construction slowdown on I-5 delayed due to weather

The Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) announced Friday that construction on I-5 in the SeaTac area has been postponed until next weekend due to weather:

Previously, WSDOT warned drivers to start planning for backups and delays during five weekends of lane reductions on southbound I-5 south of Seattle in July and August.

The interstate will be limited to two open lanes in the SeaTac/Des Moines area for three weekends as crews repave 2.7 miles of I-5. An additional two weekends of lane reductions will be required near the Duwamish River to replace expansion joints.

Southbound I-5 reduced to two lanes from 11 p.m. Friday until 5 a.m. Monday

  • POSTPONED: July 8-11, 15-18 and 22-25 – South 188th Street to State Route 516.
  • Aug. 12-15 and 19-22 – Duwamish River to Interurban Avenue.
  • All dates are weather-dependent.

Contractor crews working for the Washington State Department of Transportation need the weekend-long lane reductions to complete work that cannot be done during overnight lane closures.

“We know there’s never a good time to reduce I-5 to two lanes. But the freeway is now 50 years old, and it needs a lot of work,” said WSDOT Project Engineer Mike Askarian. “We need good weather to repave this section of the freeway, and July and August are the best months. By doing this work now, we’ll extend the life of I-5 by decades.”

What drivers should expect during the five weekends of lane reductions

  • For each of the three affected July weekends, lane reductions for the work between SeaTac and Des Moines will start just south of the southbound I-5 off-ramp to Southcenter Boulevard.
  • POSTPONED: The weekend of July 8-11, the southbound Interstate 405 ramp to southbound I-5 will be closed while crews work on the right lanes of I-5 from South 188th Street to SR 516.
  • For each of the two affected August weekends, lane reductions for work near the Duwamish River Bridge will start north of the SR 900/Martin Luther King Jr. Way on-ramp.
  • During the weekend of Aug. 12-15,several ramps will be closed for Duwamish River Bridge expansion-joint work and concrete-panel replacement:
    • State Route 900/Martin Luther King Jr. Way on-ramp to southbound I-5.
    • Southbound I-5 off-ramp to Interurban Avenue.
    • Southbound I-405 on-ramp to southbound I-5.
    • The right side of the southbound State Route 599 to southbound I-5 on-ramp will be closed, but the left side of the on-ramp will remain open.

What drivers can do
About 86,000 vehicles a day use southbound I-5 just south of Seattle. To limit congestion during the weekend lane reductions, drivers are urged to choose transit, carpools or alternative routes or consider postponing trips. Alternative routes include I-405 and state routes 167, 99 and 509.

The “three R’s” of rehabilitation
The weekend work is part of the 13-mile southbound I-5 South 320th Street to Duwamish project, which requires the “three R’s” of freeway rehabilitation: replace, repave and resurface. Most of the work on this project, including replacing more than 230 concrete panels and resurfacing sections of I-5 to remove ruts and cracks, can be done during overnight lane reductions.

All the work is part of an 18-month, $27.3 million project that is due to be complete in fall 2017.

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