Aging Interstate 5 through Seattle to get historic facelift this spring, summer

    Part of the WSDOT work will include replacing 37 expansion joints.

    Decades of patchwork fixes, Band-Aid repairs and emergency maintenance can’t be ignored any longer. Interstate 5 through the heart of Seattle needs major work done, and that work will happen this spring and summer, the Washington State Department of Transportation says.

    This spring and summer, northbound I-5 from MLK Way (State Route 900) to Northeast Ravenna is getting 13 miles of new concrete and asphalt and 37 new expansion joints as part of a $51.2 million facelift.

    WSDOT says that while the state has continued to do what it can to preserve the pavement on northbound I-5 through Seattle,
    it hasn’t had a major upgrade since it was built in the 1960s.

    It’s a tremendous undertaking that will require at least six weekends of lane reductions on northbound I-5 near Spokane Street. Two of the six weekends will require full closures of northbound I-5.

    With so many events in Seattle over the spring and summer months, there is never a good time to close lanes on I-5. Over the six weekends of work, crews will start the closures late Friday night and wrap up by the Monday morning commute, WSDOT says.

    Work includes the following weekends:

    • April 20-23: Weekend lane reductions
    • April 27-30: Weekend lane reductions
    • May 11-14: Weekend lane reductions
    • May 18-21: Full northbound closure
    • June 1-4: Full northbound closure
    • July 13-16: Weekend lane reductions

    Much of this work can only be done during dry weather so the schedule can change. If that happens, WSDOT will send out email alerts regarding changes to the above itinerary. You can also bookmark the King County Construction page to easily reference all closures.

    To avoid miles of backups and hours-long delays during the work, especially the two full weekend closures, WSDOT says it needs every driver to adjust their plans or try something different when possible:

      • Use public transportation
      • Use light rail
      • Carpool or vanpool
      • Bike
      • Walk
      • Use state routes 99, 509, 518 and I-405 instead.
      • Travel before 8 a.m. or after 8 p.m.
      • Move any discretionary travel to another weekend.
      • Plan on spending the night in Seattle to avoid traveling during the closure.


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