Drive through Seattle? Revive I-5 returns with freeway lane closures starting April 5

Construction season is in full swing, and the next phase of rehabilitation work on southbound Interstate 5 in downtown Seattle is officially ramping up.

Beginning Friday, April 5, Washington State Department of Transportation contractor crews will launch the next phase of work to “Revive I-5.” Travelers who use southbound I-5 through downtown Seattle during the late night and early morning hours should plan to use alternate routes or expect additional delays.

Throughout the summer, contractor crews will rehabilitate approximately 4 miles of southbound I-5 between Spring Street in downtown Seattle and South Lucile Street near Boeing Field. Crews will repair and replace damaged concrete panels, grind the surface of the pavement in all lanes and repave several on- and off-ramps.

“Since this section of I-5 opened in the mid-1960s, cracks and ruts have developed in the lanes that now carry about 120,000 vehicles each day,” said WSDOT Engineering Manager Messay Shiferaw. “It’s vital that we perform these repairs now so we can keep the region’s main north-south route operating for decades to come.”

What travelers should expect
The majority of this weather-dependent work will occur during the overnight hours when traffic is lighter. Travelers should anticipate lane and ramp closures beginning as early as 8 p.m. on weeknights and 9 p.m. on weekends.

Southbound I-5 closures
At times, crews will close all lanes of southbound I-5 at night and shift traffic into the collector-distributor that parallels the main roadway.

  • The south end of the collector-distributor, which is currently one lane near the Edgar Martinez Drive South/westbound I-90 on-ramp to southbound I-5, will be temporarily restriped to add a second lane for southbound traffic.
  • The temporary second lane will use a portion of the Edgar Martinez Drive South/westbound I-90 on-ramp merge lane; both on-ramps will be closed when the temporary lane is open.
  • The temporary second lane will be closed during non-working hours, while the ramps will be open.
  • This configuration will remain in place through the summer.

Know before you go
To avoid backups and delays, drivers should use alternate routes such as State Route 99 or SR 520 and I-405. The following tools are also available to help travelers plan ahead:

This project is part of a multi-year effort to preserve I-5 through King County.

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