SEATTLE – If your weekend plans include traveling on Interstate 90 between Seattle and Spokane, or using any of the highways in and around the greater Seattle area, prepare for traffic backups starting Friday through Monday morning, the Washington State Department of Transportation said Wednesday.
Last weekend, westbound travelers on I-90 between Ellensburg and North Bend experienced delays up to 90 minutes. On northbound I-5, drivers saw up to 60-minute delays between SeaTac and Tukwila.
“We have a busy construction season well underway here in the Seattle area and across the state,” said WSDOT Traffic Engineer Mike Swires. “Drivers need to plan ahead for congestion and backups while our contractors continue important work to keep the roads safe.”
Events and road construction affecting traffic into Seattle
WSDOT said to expect heavy traffic into Seattle throughout the weekend because of road projects on I-5 and other highways. Several events in the city will also draw large crowds and add to delays.
- Northbound I-5 between SeaTac and Tukwila will have only two lanes open beginning at 10 p.m. Friday, June 23, until 5 a.m. Monday, June 26. Crews are continuing work on #ReviveI5 to repave the four-mile section between State Route 516 and the Southcenter area.
- Northbound I-5 at the Ship Canal Bridge will be reduced to two lanes from 2 to 10 a.m. on both Saturday, June 24, and Sunday, June 25, for bridge deck repair work.
- The I-90 Bellevue Way ramps will be closed from 7 a.m. Saturday, June 24, until 9 p.m. Sunday, June 25, for Sound Transit Link light rail work.
- Westbound SR 520 will be reduced to one lane between 148th Avenue Northeast in Bellevue and I-5 in Seattle beginning at 11:59 p.m. Saturday, June 24, for sign maintenance work. Once the westbound work is complete, crews will operate in the same area in the eastbound lanes. All lanes will reopen by 6 a.m. Sunday.
- Seattle Pridefest takes place all day on Capitol Hill Saturday, June 24, and in downtown Seattle on Sunday, June 25.
- The Seattle Mariners host the Houston Astros at 7:10 p.m. Friday and Saturday and at 1:10 p.m. Sunday at Safeco Field.
I-90 between North Bend and Ellensburg
Both directions of I-90 have lane reductions for several projects between North Bend and Ellensburg. Expect heavy eastbound traffic and delays beginning early morning Friday, June 23, as drivers head for Paradiso at the Gorge and Hoopfest in Spokane.
- The Paradiso festival kicks off at 2 p.m. Friday, June 23, and runs until 1:30 a.m. Sunday, June 25. Organizers expect 54,000 throughout the weekend.
- Hoopfest will draw more than 6,000 teams and 3,000 volunteers. Games begin early Saturday, June 24, and wrap up late Sunday, June 25.
“Each of these events will attract large crowds from Western Washington. When added with summer vacationers, this will create major delays on westbound I-90 most of the day Sunday into late evening,” WSDOT said.
It said crews will not work on I-90 during the weekend. However, the lanes remain closed because some sections of pavement have been removed. Crews will replace those later this summer.
- #ReviveI5: www.wsdot.wa.gov/Projects/I5/260thtoduwamishrehab/
- Pridefest: www.seattlepridefest.org/
- Paradiso: paradisofestival.com/
- Hoopfest: spokanehoopfest.net/