The Interstate 5 express lanes in Seattle will remain southbound for the weekend — from Friday, Dec. 2 at 8 p.m. until Monday, Dec. 5 at 11 a.m. — because of weather-related road conditions, the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) said.
Normally, the express lanes operate in the southbound direction weekdays from 5-11 a.m. and in the northbound direction from 11:15 a.m. to 11 p.m. Because of forecasted weather conditions, the express lanes will remain open southbound throughout the weekend. In the past, attempting to operate the gates and mechanisms during snow and ice conditions has resulted in damage to the gates.
Reversing the express lanes to southbound Friday night keeps vehicles on the road, which helps reduce snow and ice buildup on the roadway, WSDOT said. It also allows Washington State Department of Transportation crews to plow and treat the express lanes as needed to ensure they are open for the Monday morning commute.