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Seattle's Saturday soccer hubbub equals a traffic mess, officials warn

65,000 soccer fans are expected to flood Seattle
65,000 soccer fans are expected to flood Seattle's SODO area this Saturday, possibly tying up traffic at the I-5 and I-90 interchange.
— image credit: Courtesy Sounders FC

Attention paid to WSDOT's early completion of I-90 floating bridge repairs will get an early test on Saturday as an expected 65,000 area soccer fans descend on Qwest Field for the July 18 Seattle Sounders FC match against English football club Chelsea.

Officials warn fans and motorists heading anywhere near Seattle's SODO neighborhood this Saturday should plan for heavy traffic of parking restrictions caused by road construction there.

Opening the upper deck for the exhibition match, the Sounders expect more than 65,000 fans at Qwest Field for their noon game against Chelsea — one of their season's most anticipated events.

Saturday is also opening day for Link light rail with free rides for all and major crowds are expected to gum-up the downtown transit tunnel. Transportation officials advise getting there by either a Sounder train or a bus. The noon kickoff against Chelsea is said by the club to be one of their season's most anticipated events.

The $84.35 million road construction project on the State Route 519 corridor near Seattle's stadiums involves building a new bridge over the railroad tracks on S. Royal Brougham Way and a new off-ramp from I-90 and I-5 to S. Atlantic Street/Edgar Martinez Drive South.

Construction is also underway on City of Seattle projects in the

neighborhood and on WSDOT's Alaskan Way Viaduct Electrical Line Relocation project. This work requires these closures and parking restrictions:

• Prior to the start of the Sounders game, eastbound S. Royal Brougham Way will be restricted to Qwest Event Center Garage access only. This restriction is necessary to accommodate pedestrians walking to the game.

• Crews will reopen one lane in each direction of S. Royal Brougham Way between Occidental Avenue S. and Fourth Avenue S. when the game is finished.

• First Avenue S. between S. Horton and S. Stacy streets (near Starbucks) is reduced to two northbound and one southbound lane.

• Northbound First Avenue S will be closed between S. Washington Street and Yesler Way. Drivers will be detoured onto Occidental Avenue S.

• Reduced street parking near Safeco Field due to construction on Third Avenue S. between S. Royal Brougham Way and Edgar Martinez Drive S., and construction on Alaskan Way S. and underneath the viaduct between S. Royal Brougham Way and S. Massachusetts Street.

• Private parking west of First Avenue S. between S. Royal Brougham Way and Railroad Way S. is closed while crews relocate electrical lines from the Alaskan Way Viaduct. However, WSDOT recently reopened several hundred private lot parking spaces for events that had been closed due to viaduct-related building demolition.

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