The Interstate 5 express lanes in Seattle will remain open in the southbound direction through at least 10:45 a.m. Wednesday, Nov. 30, the Washington State Department of Transportation said. They did not switch to northbound on Tuesday, Nov. 29, due to snow.
The express lanes are normally reversed each day and closed overnight, but snow and ice can freeze the gates and mechanisms used to reverse them. In the past, attempting to operate these systems in snow and ice conditions has resulted in damage to the gates.
Keeping the express lanes open southbound and drivers on the pavement helps reduce snow and ice buildup on the roadway. It allows Washington State Department of Transportation crews to plow the express lanes as needed, ensures they’re open for the Wednesday morning commute and frees crews to support other snow clearing activities throughout the region.
While the express lanes remain in the southbound direction, travelers should expect longer travel times on northbound I-5 in the Seattle area.