Construction begins on projects spanning 22 miles of I-5

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KING COUNTY, Wash. – Commuters need to know about two big construction projects that the Washington State Department of Transportation said will take several years to complete.

Some northbound lanes of Interstate 5 are about to get a major overhaul.

WSDOT said more than 200,000 people use this particular stretch of the I-5 corridor every day. The state has been making patches and repairs for decades but state says now is the time to make real improvements. The ruts, crumbling concrete and failing expansion joints are in the cross-hairs of contractors.

The construction and lane closures begin Monday night.

“We’re going after the worst of the worst,” said Tom Pearce with WSDOT.

Survey crews will first begin on the northbound lanes from South 260th Street to the Duwamish River Bridge.

It’s the first of two projects that the state said will require nighttime lane reductions during weeknights and sometimes during the weekend. On some occasions, at least two lanes will be closed.

The second project launches later this summer through Seattle, running from Martin Luther King Jr. Way South all the way up to the Ravenna neighborhood. Once summer comes along, the two projects will place nearly 22 miles of I-5 under construction.

Part of the projects will be replacing old expansion joints; one failed last year and held up traffic for hours.

Many more expansion joints will be replaced in the coming months but road crews aren’t expected to complete the projects for three years.

“It’ll definitely affect me,” said commuter Savannah Snyder, who said her job requires her to drive northbound on I-5 in that area.

She is hopeful the construction will mean her wheels will no longer have to take the abuse.

“If you’re driving the crack is like in the middle of the lane and it will jerk your car around,” she said.

The state agency has more details of the projects posted online.

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