September 12, 2013 at 11:54 AM
Weekend traffic angst: I-5 express lanes to point north, I-90 express lanes west
The express lanes of Interstate 5 will point north all weekend to help relieve traffic pressure while two northbound lanes of the main freeway are closed for deck and joint repairs, near Lake Union. Information on the closed freeway can be found here.
And the state Department of Transportation just issued two fresh updates about freeway mainline: The I-5 work Friday night has been delayed an hour, until 10 p.m., to make room for fans to leave that evening’s Sounders FC game. And Thursday night, the traffic lanes will be reduced at Lake Union for some overnight prep work until early Friday.
This weekend, when the express lanes make their switch to northbound on Friday, they’ll stay that way until 4:15 a.m. Monday, then return to a normal weekday schedule where morning traffic can take express lanes southbound by 5 a.m.
Of course, this means southbound traffic entering Seattle will stagnate by Saturday and Sunday morning, instead of around 1:30 p.m. when the express lanes switch is typically made from southbound to northbound. Two lanes of the four-lane mainline will close northbound at Olive Way to Lakeview Boulevard East all weekend — and during the daytime, lane reductions will continue all the way across the Ship Canal Bridge.
Meanwhile, the I-90 express lanes will point west all weekend until 6:30 p.m. Sunday — then revert eastbound by 7:30 p.m., to drain traffic after the 5:30 p.m. Seahawks game in Seattle. The Highway 520 toll bridge will be closed until 9 a.m. Sunday, making 520 available for football fans before and after game time.
Motorists are advised to leave early, to carpool, detour, or avoid trips. King County Metro Transit will move its Highway 520 routes to I-90 while the 520 bridge is closed. Riders can find updates by typing their route numbers in the place provided in this transit website.
For more background, here is a state Department of Transportation posting, “Why are the Express Lanes going the wrong way?”
About The Today File
The Today File is a general news blog featuring real-time coverage of Seattle and the Northwest. It is reported by the news staff of The Seattle Times and edited by Assistant Metro Editor Nick Provenza.
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