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3 major construction projects begin this weekend

SEATTLE – Baseball and soccer games, marathons, other gatherings — we’ve got a busy weekend around the Puget Sound.

No matter what your plan is for the weekend, the Washington State Department of Transportation said you need to know about the unusual-but-expected traffic backups and slowdowns before you hit the road.

Even if you don’t have to go into Seattle, there is construction starting or already happening across the region that’s going to impact many drivers.

“The big thing is, know before you go,” said WSDOT’s Tim Pearce. “Plan ahead.”

Beginning Friday night, a series of construction projects are slated to begin and the traffic impacts will be unavoidable.

“We are going to see delays on northbound I-5 in the SeaTac area,” said Pearce. “How big the delays depend on how much drivers do to avoid the area.”

First, two northbound I-5 lanes will be closed in SeaTac starting at 8 p.m. Crews will be begin repaving four miles of the interstate.

Then at 9 p.m., one eastbound lane of I-90 will close. That will reopen Saturday morning but later Saturday night one westbound lane will close at 9 p.m. through Sunday morning.

Crews will also begin early Saturday and Sunday morning lane closures on the Ship Canal Bridge on I-5 in Seattle. Workers will be repairing bad patches of concrete. Lane closures should be complete by 10 a.m. each morning but backups could linger.

“There’s a ton of work that they have to shoehorn in while the weather’s good, while we can do it, while we can make do, make do while the sun’s shining,” said Q13 News This Morning’s Adam Gehrke.

Drivers in the South Sound also have to deal with continuing construction on Interstate 5 through Tacoma and expansion joint work starting on SR 16.

“Drivers in Tacoma are going to see The Narrows Bridge, they’re actually cleaning the bridge,” said Gehrke. “That’s going to be reduced as well overnight tonight.”

Bottom line, WSDOT said, drivers should be flexible with plans and expect your journey to take a little longer than normal.

“You’re going to want to leave early, you might think about taking transit,” said Pearce.

WSDOT also has more construction projects planned across the region for all but two weekends throughout the summer months.