Contractors scheduled to restripe I-90 lanes near MI in March

WSDOT will shutter large section of eastbound I-90 from March 8-10 for workers.

Traffic alleviation is on the horizon for Mercer Islanders and their fellow motorists.

Drivers will soon have four lanes to travel upon again as restriping is set to occur March 8-10 on eastbound Interstate 90 near Mercer Island, according to the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT).

Since Jan. 17, the far right eastbound I-90 lane has been shuttered as WSDOT crews continue their work for the failing expansion joint on that side of the East Channel Bridge.

The emergency single-lane closure was implemented “to prevent further damage to the joint before permanent repairs can be made. The overall safety of the bridge is not affected by the condition of the expansion joint,” according to the city of Mercer Island.

A WSDOT press release issued on the early evening of Feb. 22 notes that in order to engage in the restriping, eastbound I-90 will be closed between Seattle and Mercer Island from 11 p.m. on March 8 through 6 a.m. on March 10.

Specialized Pavement Marking, LLC, will restripe the lanes, noted WSDOT, adding that, “This work is weather-dependent and will be rescheduled to a later weekend in March if contractors are unable to work due to wet conditions.”

After restriping, the lanes will possess narrower shoulders until the expansion joint — which must be engineered and custom built, according to the city — can be replaced. Presently, the replacement project sits in the design phase with a 2025 construction time frame on the docket (the work year was advanced from 2027).

Closures from March 8-10 include:

* Eastbound I-90 between Rainier Avenue South in Seattle and East Mercer Way Mercer Island.

* The northbound and southbound Interstate 5 ramps to eastbound I-90 in Seattle.

* Northbound and southbound Rainier Avenue South to eastbound I-90 in Seattle.

* 80th Avenue Southeast ramp to eastbound I-90 HOV lane.

* Island Crest Way to eastbound I-90.

* Mercer Island residents will have access to eastbound I-90 via the East Mercer Way on-ramp.

“People traveling from Seattle to Mercer Island, Bellevue and east King County during the weekend of March 8-10 should plan to use alternate routes and expect significant delays,” WSDOT said.

According to the MI Let’s Talk page, the city notified the community of the emergency closure on Jan. 17, which is when the city learned of the situation.

“Fortunately, WSDOT completed emergency lane reconfigurations on I-90 early on the morning of January 19. This has helped improve congestion on the freeway, which in turn helps reduce backups on East Mercer Way and SE 36th Street. WSDOT reports morning commute backups have been reduced from three miles to about one mile — they are continuing to monitor,” the city noted.

On Jan. 17 and the following days, Mercer Island residents took to social media to voice their displeasure with the single-lane closure that has massively backed up traffic on I-90 through the Island.

“This is a complete disaster,” one poster noted about being stuck in traffic one night.

Another poster kept a positive attitude during the situation: “Thank you for keeping us informed on this and other issues in the last year. The details are helpful even when the news isn’t what we would like.”

To receive real-time travel information via the WSDOT mobile app and the real-time travel map, visit and