SEATTLE — The return of the U.S. Navy Blue Angels to the Seafair Air Show means the Interstate 90 floating bridge will be closed at times later this week.
State transportation officials will close the bridge between Mercer Island and Interstate 5 for practices and shows.
The closures include everyone — drivers, cyclists and pedestrians.
Per WSDOT, the mainlines and express lanes of I-90 will be closed between Interstate 5 in Seattle to Island Crest Way on Mercer Island:
- Thursday, July 30: 9:45 a.m. – noon; 1:15 – 2:40 p.m. (practice)
- Friday, July 31: 11:50 a.m. – 2:40 p.m. (practice)
- Saturday, Aug. 1: 11:50 a.m. – 2:40 p.m. (Seafair Air Show)
- Sunday, Aug. 2: 11:50 a.m. – 2:40 p.m. (Seafair Air Show)
* The bridge highrises will still be accessible to pedestrians and cyclists. However, no one on foot or bike can travel beyond the highrises up to 30 minutes prior to posted closure times.
* I-90 east of Mercer Island will NOT be closed during the performance, although drivers should note that heavy congestion during these closures often restricts access to the exits.
Transportation officials say the main reason for the closures is safety. Officials fear that drivers who try to see or photograph the jets could create a hazard.
“Kind of a new twist and it hasn’t been heard a lot, but I heard that if the FAA or Blue Angels see any drones up in the sky, the Angels aren’t going to fly,” said Sgt. Kevin Hastings SPD Harbor Patrol. “They’re not going to risk running into a drone and I know Seafair has been letting boaters know that are coming to the log boom that there’s a no drone rule.”
Another reason is to protect motorists from planes, jets and other aircraft.