SEATTLE — Washington Department of Transportation crews are getting ready for a busy weekend. They will be working on two major construction projects, and trying to work around two major summer events. They say drivers should plan ahead and try to carpool or take transit, if their weekend plans involve driving to or through Seattle.
Crews will close all lanes of 520 Friday night, so they can pour concrete on the new West Connection Bridge. Drivers on the Eastside are trying to prepare.
“It means you have to really plan your trips back and forth across the lake,” says Linda. “Traffic headaches are definitely on the uptick when there’s construction.”
“It’s an inconvenience,” adds Quinn Huynh. “You’re driving through 90 or 405 North, just to get into Seattle.”
WSDOT is also shutting down the northbound lanes of the viaduct, and closing three lanes of I-5 in the overnight hours. Drivers trying to use the express lanes of I-90 will have to sit and wait, during the Rock n Roll Marathon on Saturday.
“We’re going to be shut in,” says Chris Coburn. “I’ve got my daughter, we’ll be hunkered down in Madison Park.”
Traffic engineers with WSDOT say they’re not trying to discourage people from taking part in events like the Solstice Parade in Fremont.
“We definitely don’t want to tell people to stay away,” says Maan Sidhu. “We want people to come to Seattle, but they need to plan ahead.”
He says they try to work around holidays and special events, and stagger road closures as much as they can. But the summer months are the best time for their crews to make progress on major projects like 520.
“There just aren’t enough weekends with good weather where we can accomplish all of our work, plus accommodate things like Seafair.”
But Sidhu wants drivers to know that the goal of all the projects is to create better roads and bridges to accommodate our fast-growing region.
If you want to also plan around the closures this weekend and the rest of the summer, go to http://www.wsdot.wa.gov/construction/pugetsound/today.htm