UPDATE, 11 a.m., Friday: Traffic opened on I-90 Friday morning as planned.
ORIGINAL POST: Three closed lanes of Interstate 90 are on schedule to reopen as planned 5 a.m. Friday, state officials say.
A cracked expansion joint is being replaced westbound on the East Channel Bridge, where traffic from Bellevue approaches Mercer Island. Only one through-lane, and one entry lane from I-405, have been open since last weekend.
The last step requires overnight closures of some on-ramps, so the area can be restriped.
- The westbound off-ramp to East Mercer Way closes tonight at 9 p.m. until Friday at 5 a.m.
- Ramps from I-405 to westbound I-90 will close tonight from 10 p.m. until Friday at 5 a.m. Drivers will be detoured east to 150th Avenue Southeast at Eastgate, then backtrack there, entering westbound I-90 uphill from the work zone.
Meanwhile, traffic sensors continue to show that about half the peak-time traffic has disappeared, as drivers avoid trips, or go around the work zone.
Thursday morning there were slowdowns of one to two miles, the state traffic map showed, not the debacle that would have occurred with normal traffic volumes. The worst I-90 congestion was a delay of 15 minutes at 6:35 a.m. Monday, along with minor clogging on I-405 nearby, and possible diversions to the Highway 520 toll bridge.
This chart, in a Washington State Department of Transportation blog post by Harmony Haveman Weinberg, shows travelers have reduced trips throughout the first three weekdays of the closure.
Sometimes the major repair projects are done a few days early. But that’s not possible during the final, 30-hour phase of this $1.6 million project, transporation officials said. The new joint is being embedded in concrete, and the curing time cannot be rushed.