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WSDOT warns weekend drivers of busy weekend ahead
Big construction, big event weekend in Seattle
Plan ahead to avoid congestion and closures
Whether you’re headed to the Seattle Sounders home opener, looking for a little exercise at the Hot Chocolate Run or just excited to see Interstate 5 pavement repaired, there is something for everyone this weekend in Seattle.
The first weekend in March is a hub of event and construction activity in downtown Seattle. Drivers headed into or through Seattle should plan ahead to avoid construction closures and delays March 1-4.
“We’ve been working with the City of Seattle and event planners to coordinate our work and their events,” said Amir Rasaie, Washington State Department of Transportation construction engineer. “Well-informed and well-prepared drivers will make the difference. They’re a big reason we can make all this happen.”
Southbound I-5 in the University District
On Friday, construction crews begin the first of two long nights of pavement repair on southbound I-5 between Ravenna Boulevard and the Ship Canal Bridge. They will close three of four interstate lanes from 10 p.m. to 10 a.m. the nights of Friday, March 1, and Saturday, March 2. All lanes will be open by 10 a.m. Sunday, March 3. The off-ramps to Northeast 45th and Northeast 50th streets will also be closed both nights.
The I-5 express lanes remain open in the southbound direction overnight both nights to ease congestion and provide access for emergency vehicles. Drivers traveling through Seattle should use the express lanes or I-405. Neighbors who live next to Northeast 45th and Northeast 50th streets will hear quite a bit of loud, screeching noise and low rumbling noise. Free earplugs are available.
Alaskan Way Viaduct
Crews are performing a semiannual inspection on the Alaskan Way Viaduct this weekend. All lanes of the viaduct will be closed from the Battery Street Tunnel to the West Seattle Bridge Saturday, March 2, from 6 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sunday, March 3, from 6 a.m. to noon.
West Seattle Bridge to southbound I-5
Crews will close the ramp from the West Seattle Bridge to southbound I-5 from 10 p.m. Friday, March 1, through 5 a.m. Monday, March 4, to replace three expansion joints. Detours send drivers to lower Spokane Street and Fourth Avenue South. This is the fifth weekend of this infrastructure work. The closures have gone well.
This is a busy weekend for events. The Sounders season kicks off Saturday at 7:30 p.m. Fans marching to the match will find the Alaskan Way Viaduct open at least two hours before the game begins.
Comic book enthusiasts headed to the Washington State Convention Center for Comicon over the weekend should take I-5, as the closures will not affect their route.
Runners suiting up for the new Hot Chocolate 5K and 15K runs Sunday should pack 20 extra minutes with their running shoes to get to Seattle Center on time. Traffic for the pre-dawn start should be light, but runners and their cheering sections may be joined by 10,000 others who also plan to use the I-5 express lanes and get off at Mercer Street.
The run extends across the Aurora Avenue Bridge and into Fremont. Neighbors should expect State Route 99 closures early in the morning.
WSDOT recommends checking the What’s Happening Now Web page and Seattle traffic maps before the weekend, and downloading detour maps and the WSDOT traffic app. The mobile app helps drivers stay on top of closures, collisions, congestion and surprises.
Hyperlinks within release:
· Seattle Sounders: www.soundersfc.com/
· Hot Chocolate Run: www.hotchocolate15k.com/seattle/
· I-5 Spokane Street: www.wsdot.wa.gov/Projects/I5/KingGrinding/UDistrictPavement/
· Alaskan Way Viaduct: www.wsdot.wa.gov/Projects/Viaduct/
· I-5 Spokane Street bridge repair: www.wsdot.wa.gov/projects/i5/spokanestbridgerepair2012/
· Comicon: www.emeraldcitycomicon.com/
· What’s Happening Now? www.wsdot.wa.gov/construction/pugetsound/today.htm
· Seattle traffic maps: www.wsdot.com/traffic/seattle/default.aspx?op=/traffic/seattle/
· WSDOT traffic app: www.wsdot.wa.gov/Inform/mobile.htm